Saturday Feb 16:  We pre-ordered a copy of Jim Pipkin‘s new CD and it arrived in the mail yesterday.  I’m sitting here listening to it again, an experience which goes far toward compensating for the fact I’ve either had a flu relapse or caught a new strain of it. Some of the new songs we’ve heard Jim perform solo, but he’s never recorded them before. Three of the others have been on his earlier albums, but their new incarnations (as well as the other songs) greatly benefit from the accompaniments by Joe Bethancourt, Nick Gasmeña, Eric Gilboe, William Gobus (Billy Kneebone), Jeremy Graham, Laney Greynolds, Mike Hatta, Deb Hilton, Austin Mack, Billy Parker, Jesse Pruitt, John Rickard, Lee Robert (LeeLee), Andy Varner, and Duane Woods. We’ve heard about half these people perform live, but nearly always separately, and hearing them play together on this album is sublime.

I’ll probably have more to say about this album later, but for now I think I’ll go crawl back into bed.

Today:  Mostly over the bug this morning, and I’m glad to see that “Rollin’ the Dice” made it to #1 on the AirPlay Direct playchart yesterday.  You can go to this link to listen to samples and/or download tracks. I think they’re all great, but I’ve settled on a favorite: “Forever With You.” Jim’s resonant voice and eloquent lyrics are wonderfully complemented by traditional instruments that seem to reach eternally back through the ages, as well as forward. Jim has recorded this song before (on his “Spirits” album), but I think I understand now why he wanted to do it again.

Later Today:  I should’ve known better than to say I’ve settled on a favorite song from the new album. Listening at the moment to “Silver in the Leaves,” featuring backup harmonies by Laney Greynolds of JC & Laney, and now it’s my favorite. “Feels Like Home” (co-written with Kevin Sharp) is also very good, and “Green Tornado Sky” (with Jeremy Graham of Sour Diesel Trainwreck).  And how could I have forgotten “Brushy Bill,” camped out in the desert, staring up at the lights of a passing mail plane early in the 20 century, decades after his supposed demise as Billy the Kid? I guess I’m just fickle, and should probably give up the idea of finding a favorite song on this album!

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