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Sunday at Devil Dirt

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Audio CD, November 18, 2008
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Sunday at Devil Dirt + Hawk + Ballad of the Broken Seas
Price for all three: $45.97

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 18, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fontana Int'l
  • ASIN: B001GSFE60
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,621 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Seafaring Song
2. The Raven
3. Salvation
4. Who Built the Road
5. Come on Over (Turn Me On)
6. Back Burner
7. The Flame That Burns
8. Shotgun Blues
9. Keep Me in Mind, Sweetheart
10. Something to Believe
11. Trouble
12. Sally, Don't You Cry
13. Fight Fire with Fire [*]
14. Asleep on a Sixpence [*]
15. Violin Tango [*]
16. Rambling Rose, Clinging Vine [*]
17. Hang On [*]

Editorial Reviews

US edition of their 2008 album includes five bonus tracks over the previously available imported edition. Bonus tracks, Fight Fire With Fire, Asleep On a Sixpence, Violin Tango, Rambling Rose, Clinging Vine and Hang On. Sunday at Devil Dirt is second full-length collaboration between the former Belle & Sebastian member (Campbell) and Mark Lanegan, the Screaming Trees frontman and part-time QOTSA vocalist. Recorded between studios in the Catskills and Isobel's native Glasgow, Sunday At Devil Dirt is an album of dust bitten ballads and troubled wanderings, easily the equal of its predecessor. Again, Campbell and Lanegan complement each other beautifully, like silk on cracked leather. While continuing to mine the same rich seam of Alt-Country, Folk and Blues of their debut, the new record also embraces a dusty southern gothic, while a sultry, jazzy feel is evident on a number of tracks. As with their debut, the album has been written, produced and arranged by Isobel Campbell, with Lanegan providing lead vocal duties.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 15 customer reviews
That about sums this album up.
Christopher R. Swenson
Their voices make you want to fall in love...while the words move you. great CD.
Isobel Campbell has a lovely voice.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stargrazer on November 22, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Those who enjoyed "Ballad Of The Broken Seas" will be pleased by this extension of the Campbell-Lanegan collaboration. "Sunday At Devil Dirt" continues many of the threads of the previous album. Lanegan's earthy throat is contrasted with Campbell's nearly otherworldly whisper, strings and pianos augment spare guitar finger picking and strumming, and the mood is resplendent with lingering love, loss, and regret.

One difference is that on Devil Dirt, 100% of the music and lyrics are penned by Campbell. Lanegan takes the backseat as far as songwriting is concerned, instead delivering humanly-rendered vocal contributions that make many of the songs his. Tropes revolve around botanical imagery, views of the road, sepia-washed nostalgia for Americana and Southern gothic folk.

Where Ballad of the Broken Seas zigs and Sunday At Devil Dirt zags is largely in the production aesthetic. Broken Seas had (slightly) punched-up production (by comparison) and Morricone-esque arrangements in places, Devil Dirt seems ever-so-modestly laid back by comparison. Lanegan's vocals are a touch further back and the arrangements are a touch more straightforward. Both albums benefit from this difference in production aesthetics: Devil Dirt may be a little more accessible to country and folk traditionalists, and none of Broken Seas' novel shine is tarnished. In fact, if the sequence of events wasn't a matter of record, Devil Dirt might come off as the recordings that led up to Broken Seas, rather than vice versa.

A great addition to both Lanegan's and Campbell's catalog, it's good to see this record finally finding domestic release. The five bonus cuts make me glad I didn't get impatient and order the import.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tami Kanas on November 21, 2008
Format: MP3 Music
First off, this is not an album for the general masses. A lot of people will hear Mark Lanegans deep gravely voice and turn it off. But if you give your mind time to adjust to his voice and allow it to hear everything else, you will discover a beautiful album, almost hypnotic. The instruments and string arrangements recall the late 60's, early 70's Moody Blues. (particularly the song Raven). Listen to this one in a reflective mood. Its not a party album but its a great listen when you're by yourself and low lights or driving. Like a good wine, this one needs to breathe to allow its magic to come out.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kevin McCarthy on November 24, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I was younger I was a HUGE Screaming Trees fan (until the Uncle Anesthesia)source of Mark Lanegan.While Nirvana was getting huge, the Trees were kinda overlooked. Fast forward and I really got into a lot of Scottish bands such as Teenage Fanclub, the Delgados, Arab Strap, and Belle and Sebastian (source of Isobel Campbell early on until she left). Campbell really shined in Gentle Waves which validated my closeted love of old 60s chanteuses. Bringing these two together is like the old Reese's commercials (Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!). Two great, but different tastes that taste even better together.

Lanegan has the worn leather, bourbon and cigarette yet velvety butterscotch warm and fuzzy blanket quality to his voice.

Campbell does not have as many vocals on this title as on the previous CD, but she has this sweet and sexy voice you want to crawl up in and never leave.

The combined force of their voices is like a blunt explosion of emotion. While there are no standouts like Ramblin Man, this is a cd that creates a world that seems somewhat familiar but somehow foreign, and one in which I want to stay in. The photography (as in previous titles) creates a strange sense of nostalgia that is so similar to the music. In fact the complete package is what Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra were trying to do decades ago but were hampered by the limitations of the Sinatra market and the music industry in general at the time, but do find their album and you will hear the roots of Campbell/Lanegan in the original "Some Velvet Morning" (although Slowdive does a nice version).

Alt country fans of bands/musicians like Whiskeytown/Adams, Old97s/Miller, Son Volt/Farrar will like this too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marc Cabir Davis on March 26, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Isobel Campbell has a very interesting interview online where she talks about "Sunday at Devil Dirt" and how difficult it was to get it released. Both she and Mark Lanegan worked hard on this record, but Isobel was nearly down and out financially halfway through the record, and invested her remaining savings into actually completing it. Add to that the clashes with the record label, actually releasing the album, and finding that it didn't do that well commercially. You have to remember that this album was initially released only in the UK (with a shorter tracklisting and different cover-art), but when it was finally (like a miracle) picked up for US Distribution, Isobel went back to the vaults and added on songs she thought should have been there in the first place. What we have now is the definitive "Sunday at Devil Dirt", easily the best collaborative effort Isobel has ever worked on.

I first discovered her in 2003, when I bought "Amorino" simply based on one review from an independent music magazine. That album remains Isobels' crowning achievement (even better than her work with Belle & Sebastian), but its ironic that her solo work is decidedly more evolved that her work with groups or other people. "Milk White Sheets", her second solo album, was mellower and more gentle than her debut, but it lacked a certain something.

When she first collaborated with Lanegan on "Ballad of the Broken Seas" from a few years ago, reviewers were positive only because of the sharp contrasts in their voices - Isobels' feathery whispers contrasted beautifully with Lanegans' Tom Waits-esque husky delivery. Their voices are on two extremes of the human vocal cord - and its exactly this stark difference that makes their recordings so vital, so interesting.
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