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Invariable Heartache

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Audio CD, April 26, 2011
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 26, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: City Slang
  • ASIN: B0041MUS7S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,294 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Incredibly Lonely
2. Eyes Look Away
3. Special Day, A
4. Picking Wild Mountain Berries
5. Yours Forever
6. He's Only A Memory Away
7. She Came Around Last Night
8. Penetration
9. April's Fool
10. I Can't Sleep With You
11. Let's Think About Where We're Going
12. Who's Gonna Love Me Now

Editorial Reviews

''Not so much a replication, but more of a study in reclamation.'' - Kurt Wagner

INVARIABLE HEARTACHE is an album inspired by a shared love for Nashville andits musical traditions. Lambchop's Kurt Wagner - a long time champion of the city's history and charms - and Cortney Tidwell - whose family have, for decades, played a significant part in the city's (country) musical life - are both fervent admirers of the music that has emerged from the city.

It was an early collaboration on Cortney's Don't Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up album that led to the two of them performing together at Nashville club The Basement
in the summer of 2008. Such was the crowd's overwhelming response that evening that the idea of a duets album was born, and though work didnʼt begin for well over a year the concept was never forgotten. It was discussion about Cortney's family history, however, that led them to the Chart Records catalogue, a label run by Cortney's grandfather Slim Williamson, A&Red later by her father Cliff Williamson, and for which her mother Connie Eaton also recorded.

The result of their subsequent fascination with what they discovered on dusty forgotten vinyl is an album that pays tribute to art of the duet and the classic songwriting that lay behind many of the albums and singles released by the label, a tribute on a grander scale to the forgotten sounds of 'Music City USA'. Keeping it in the family, INVARIABLE HEARTACHE was produced by Kurt Wagner, recorded by Cortney's husband Todd Tidwell at Music Row's Starstruck Studios and by Roger Moutenot (who produced much of Lambchop's last album) at Hap Town, and mixed by Mark Nevers, whose association with Lambchop goes back to its earliest days and who has since become one of Nashville's go-to guys. With 11 songs taken from the
Chart Records catalogue, and one more recorded by Cortney's mother for ABC Dunhill, this is a project that, from start to end, comes right from the heart.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD
With this intriguing pairing of Kurt Wagner and Cortney Tidwell we have what is the equivalent of alt country royalty. Wagner has of course been at the centre of country soul wonders "Lampchop" for many years and those of you without "Nixon" should rapidly address the situation post haste. Tidwell on the other hand is not so well known but her family linage screams "Nashville" with her grandfather running Nashville's Chart Records, her mother was country singer Connie Eaton and her father was the producer Cliff Williamson. As for the some of the backing musicians, check out the names and offer a salute to them including William Tyler (Silver Jews), Ryan Norris (Forrest Bride, The Privates) and Paul Niehaus from the fab Tex Mex minstrels, Calexico.

The story behind the genesis of "Invariable Heartache" is warmly told in a gem of a mini documentary `Bringing Chart Records Back To Life' (the link can be found in the comment below) where our two protagonists cover songs from the old Chart records label and inject new life or completely revive them. Indeed what's fascinating is how good these songs are but how relatively obscure they have been in the canon of country music.

The flavour of them can be readily discerned from the titles such as "Incredibly lonely", (let me add its not the Team America version!) "Invariable Heartache" and the heartbreaking "Whose gonna love me now". These are surefire clues to the type of bar soaked, weather beaten lonesome country to be found here, yet it is a lovely album with Wagner and Tidwell doing a sterling job as a duet and making the songs their own. Unsurprisingly Wagner's is the more distinctive voice and on the albums fine highlight `She Came Around Last Night' the "boy plays a blinder".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Niall on November 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Although I was not familiar with Courtney Tidwell, I am a big Lambchop fan and this release is more than enough to tide me over until the next 'chop offering. Wagner, an underrated vocalist IMO, puts his rubbery voice to good use, especially on the opener Incredibly Lonely, one of many highlights. There is only one misstep here--the version of Pickin' Wild Mountain Berries (the only song on this set I am familiar with) completely misses the mark. The vocals lack the sass and naughtiness of the Twitty version. Kelly Hogan does a superior version of this song as well. Tidwell has a great voice, but I wish she would flex her pipes more often as on She Came Around Last Night, instead of the whispery style that is on display a lot here.

If you like this, I would recommend Begonias, by Thad Cockrell and Caitlin Cary.

Folks who say they can't stand country music should give this a listen.
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