Music Reviews: Kickin' it old school

Burn Your Playhouse Down: The Unreleased Duets – George Jones
For the diehard country music fan, finding out about this new Possum album was as exciting as getting a free tank of fuel. Burn Your Playhouse Down: The Unreleased Duets is a collection of never-before-heard duets between George Jones and an illustrious group of guest stars.

The recordings range from the mid-’70s with his ex-wife, Tammy Wynette (“Lovin’ You, Lovin’ Me”), to the most recent recording from 2007 with his daughter, Georgette, the only child from the union of George and Tammy. Other duet partners include Keith Richards, Leon Russell, Mark Knopfler, Shelby Lynne, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Mark Chesnutt, Jim Lauderdale, Dolly Parton and Tanya Tucker. At 77, the country legend is still making new music in his 55th year of being on the charts. But a dash of tracks of yore we’ve not yet heard is quite a nice surprise from ol’ No Show Jones. Yeaaah! A

Waylon Forever – Waylon Jennings & the .357’s
Waylon Jennings’ career spanned more than 40 years. During his lifetime (he died in 2002), he released more than 50 studio albums, which generated 16 No. 1 singles and four CMA Awards. Waylon Forever is the final recording of this country music legend.

The eight-song collection of cover songs and originals features the vocals of Jennings, backed by his son Shooter Jennings and the .357’s. This CD project began in 1995 when Waylon asked Shooter to collaborate on an album with him. “With 20 or so songs we went into the studio to cut vocals and overdubs. He was so excited for us doing a record together, constantly pushing himself and coming up with new ideas. I was so nervous, but he was calm as a gunslinger,” Shooter says. Tracks include Neil Young’s “Are You Ready for the Country,” a cover of Cream’s “White Room” and the all-new song “I Found the Body.” B

Call Me Crazy – Lee Ann Womack
Lee Ann Womack’s highly anticipated seventh CD – produced by Tony Brown – features the awesome song “Last Call” as the first single. “I’m so fired up to be back doing what I feel like I was born to do, which is making country music,” says the 42-year-old songstress. “The time I spent writing, looking for songs and meeting with Tony felt so effortless and natural.”

Womack co-wrote four of the album’s 12 tracks. Fans will discover well-known male voices accompanying her, including George Strait on the duet “Everything but Quits.” The last time the two Texans collaborated was for “Good News, Bad News,” which earned them a CMA Award for “Musical Event of the Year.” Other cool tracks include “Solitary Thinkin’,” “The Bees” and “The Story of My Life.” A+

Learn to Live – Darius Rucker
If you grow up in Charleston, S.C., and count country crooner Radney Foster as one of your biggest musical influences, then you can’t be all bad. Considering Nashville newcomer Darius Rucker has already sold more than 25 million albums as the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, we can expect big things out of the first black singer to have a hit record on the country chart in 20 years.

A two-time Grammy winner, Rucker embraces his Carolina roots and a style of music he has always wanted to make. The debut country single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” has become a radio hit. Learn to Live features 12 undeniable country hits and a voice that is definitive Rucker. “I have always written country songs.