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Jimmy Webb "Just Across The River"

"Just Across The River", the new album from Jimmy Webb, one of the most celebrated composers and songwriters in American music history, is set for release June 29 on E1 Music. The album features interpretations of the classic songs that made him a vital cultural icon including "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", "Wichita Lineman", "Galveston", "The Highwayman", "Oklahoma Nights" and more. 

The album features guest appearances from Webb's friends, fans and recording partners including Jackson Browne, Glen Campbell, Vince Gill, Billy Joel, Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, J.D. Souther and Lucinda Williams. "Just Across The River" came together at the behest of producer and longtime Webb collaborator Fred Mollin, who wished to honor Webb's storied career and his celebrated contributions to the Americana roots tradition (Webb is a native son of Oklahoma). Says Mollin of the album, "This record is a homecoming for Jimmy. His songs are true classics and they could provide the soundtrack to your life"

Webb adds, "from the very first song, first take, first note this record seemed blessed. I hope everyone else feels what we did as we listened to the first rough mixes. And then as each piece fell into place, a fully realized, conceptual work of art emerged". "Just Across The River" was recorded primarily live over the course of two days at Sound Emporium in Nashville, TN. Joining Webb live in the studio were John Hobbs (piano, Wurlitzer, organ), Bryan Sutton (acoustic guitars, banjo, mandolin), John Willis (acoustic guitars, electric guitars, banjo), Larry Paxton (bass), Greg Morrow and Eddie Bayers (drums), Stuart Duncan (fiddle, mandolin), Jeff Taylor (accordion), Pat Buchanan (electric guitars) and Paul Franklin (steel guitar, dobro). Mark Knopfler provided lead electric guitar on "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", Johnny A. contributed electric guitar on "Galveston" and Jerry Douglas added dobro on "Wichita Lineman".


John Mellencamp "On the Rural Route 7609"

Labeling John Mellencamp's "On The Rural Route 7609" a box set would be a misnomer on several levels. In format, it is much more akin to a lavish book and is in fact, not packaged in a box. With 54 songs, 17 of which are previously unreleased on any Mellencamp CD, on 4 discs, the set is thoroughly annotated by award-winning music journalist/historian Anthony DeCurtis. Also included within its 72 pages are numerous evocative photos reflecting Mellencamp's transformation from pop idol to his current status as transcendent singer/writer whose work is celebrated, sometimes as a painfully honest musical reflection of hard scrabble midwestern values. Mellencamp songs from all phases of that career are included as are special guest readings by Academy Award wining actress Joanne Woodward as well as from Dr. Cornel West, best selling author, lecturer and commentator.

Unlike standard issue box sets, "On The Rural Route 7609" is not a collection of hits and near-hits in chronological order. Rather, each of the discs is programmed as if it were a free-standing album with shared themes and a sense of flow that offers one a compelling context to listen from start to finish versus defaulting to searching for the most familiar tracks. While there is certainly a wealth of well-known material, a significant number of tracks are offered that, while less familiar, are equally significant in terms of providing an in-depth picture of the Mellencamp's spectrum of creativity. Those tracks juxtaposed to signature songs long-associated with Mellencamp on the four "albums" in the set give long-term Mellencamp fans and newer listers alike, a more complete and insightful view of the artist's role as a writer and artist whose catalog of songs and recordings glow with substance and nuance. 

"On The Rural Route 7609" is a musical journey that sheds new light on an American musician who, as both a songwriter and and social activist. Mellencamp found his true voice as he followed his heart and mind over the course of a career that, after an improbable start, has spanned four decades and is reflected in the selections heard "On The Rural Route 7609". "On The Rural Route 7609" is a singular way to discover John Mellencamp again.. arguably, for the first time.