Picks and Pans Review: Solid State
With his long white beard, flowing white hair, vanilla suit and sunglasses, Russell resembles what Santa Claus might look like if he had moved to a commune, gone on a diet and become a dentist. But the best songs Russell has written—This Masquerade, Lady Blue, A Song for You—have been lovey-dovey mainstream material. This, his first album since his 1979 double-LP duet with Willie Nelson, includes another one of those slightly bluesy, lovely tunes, If You Go Away, co-written with Douglas Snider. (Russell and Snider produced—and in some cases overproduced—this LP.) There's also a nicely mournful version of the Danny O'Keefe country standard Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues. Russell's delivery is honest and plaintive. This is an ideal LP for a slow, dreamy fall evening. (The album was released by Paradise, a Hendersonville, Tenn. label; some cuts are on the fuzzy-sounding side.)
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