Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blame it all on my roots part 2


This is a follow up to my exciting and engaging ramblings about the sweet Christmas present my sweet husband got me. I promised a part 2. I know you have been waiting.
6 CDs, 2 DVDs, and a book. 'Murica.
The Blame It All on my Roots set is:
  • four CD's of Garth covering his favorite songs that influenced him
  • a book featuring some great performance shots, pics of Garth as a kid, and--this part is SO cool--an explanation about why he decided to cover each song, and a few behind the scenes stories from the recording sessions.
  • his Ultimate Hits double album 
  • a DVD of music videos 
  • a DVD of the show Brooks did during his stint in Vegas. 
Say what you will about the evils of Walmart, but all that for less than $30?!

As a fan, I believe that Garth can sing anything. None of the cover albums here reinvent the wheel. They aren't going to blow your mind with a new spin on a classic. The production and music is straightforward, not flashy. He "Garths them up" a bit. He can't help it. But I'd say if you liked the original version of these songs, you'll enjoy his versions.

I've only listened to each album once, but here are my faves, which at this point are honestly the ones I'm most familiar with and liked already:

Country Classics: 
"Fishin' in the Dark"
"Unwound"-George Strait's first single. From that opening fiddle lick to the lyrics, to the catchy tune, this song is soooo country. And it's fantastic.
"Good Ole Boys Like Me"-This was a Don Williams song. I mentioned he was my Grandma's favorite in my last post. Listening to this made me a little teary, I must admit.
"Don't Close Your Eyes"
"Jambalaya"

Melting Pot:
"Black Water"
"Maggie May"-This song is so much fun. You can hear Garth and the band must have been having a ball recording it.
"The Weight"
"Amie"

Classic Rock:
This is my favorite of the covers discs.
"Life in the Fast Lane"-Garth says it's his favorite rock song of all time. When the opening guitar riff of this song starts, it takes you on a crazy ride, and you don't it want to end.
"Bad Company"-Great song. He does a decent job with this badass anthem.
"Midnight Rider"
"All Right Now"-Try to listen to this song and not dance around the room while singing along. You can't.
"Addicted to Love"

Blue-Eyed Soul:
"Midnight Train to Georgia"
"Ain't No Sunshine"
"Drift Away"
"Sitting on the Dock of the Bay"

If you expect Garth to actually sing a whole song in the Live at the Wynn DVD--he doesn't. It's definitely a "one man show" type of thing. No band, just a guitar. Stories from childhood, about the songs that influenced him.

Garth talks about listening to Merle Haggard and George Jones as a kid...and how those songs were a little "mature" for young, innocent ears. Well, I didn't really know what "That Summer" and "Papa Loved Mama" were about until I listened to them as an adult. Cougars making moves on young farm hands and spouses murdering each other. By driving semi trucks into hotel rooms. Awesome.

Oh, and Trisha Yearwood makes an appearance. She has a gorgeous voice, and she is looking great. A class act, that Trisha. I like her because I can tell she doesn't let Garth get away with his rock star crap at home.

In about the last 40 minutes or so of the DVD, Garth puts on the black cowboy hat, (cue wild applause) and sings his hits. This part supports those with the opinion that Garth Brooks probably is a cocky bastard. But he puts just enough self-depreciating humor in there. My favorite: admitting he doesn't really know how to play "Callin' Baton Rouge" because the electric guitar he used on stage on tour wasn't plugged in.

If I listed all of the songs that I love on Ultimate Hits, I'd basically have to just copy the track list. I think I can narrow down my absolute favorites to:
"Shameless," (a Billy Joel-penned tune) "More Than A Memory," "Callin' Baton Rouge," "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)," "The Dance," "Standing Outside the Fire," and "We Shall Be Free." No wait--there's more! Oh well...

Apparently, Garth is playing some shows in Ireland this summer and is planning a huge tour for the fall. I will be there. (But, you know, not in Ireland.) Now...I wonder if my cowhide and rhinestone belt from my rodeo days still fits?





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