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Heirloom Music CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

For some time Jimmie Dale Gilmore has been wanting to go back to a time before country music got really commercialized and he saw
his opportunity with The Wronglers. He and Warren Hellman (founder and benefactor of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival) have joined forces to make Heirloom Music, an album of early twentieth century, folk-rooted country music featuring material from the likes Charlie Poole, the Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Bob Wills and the Delmore Brothers.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 10, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Redeye Label
  • ASIN: B004V3H7MG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,702 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Timothy Yap TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 16, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
Prime Cuts: I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes, I Wonder Where You Are Tonight, Big Rock Candy Mountain

Terminologies and genres are caricatures when it comes to describing the music found on this new disc. Though it is imbued with a bluegrass backing, the sui genesis of these songs date back to such ancient times of the 1930s and 1940s. And to call these paeans "bluegrass" would be anachronistic. Thus, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and the Wronglers have decided to call such a style as "heirloom music." Despite the age of these songs, Gilmore and his cohorts have been able to re-live to these old-timeys that they allow us to hear them with new ears and they were able find untapped veins into old classics such as Bill Monroe's "Uncle Pen," Lead Belly's "In the Pines," and the Delmore Brothers' "Brown Ferry's Blues." Though "Heirloom Music" is Gilmore's second covers CD following his last outing 2005's "Come On Back," this disc differs from his predecessor in two ways. First, it abandons the rock feel of "Come on Back" and this is certainly bluegrass-y in its sonic execution. Second, what sets this disc apart is the presence of the Wronglers. For the unacquainted, a word about the Wronglers is in order. Headed by billionaire Warren Hellman on vocals and banjo, the Wronglers is an old time sextet formed in 2005. Not only is their picking here impeccable especially Krista Martin's animated fiddling but Heidi Clare is found singing harmony with Gilmore right through the record. Her searing self-recriminations that has a striking similarity to Emmylou Harris is a delightful treat in itself.
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By SF on May 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I disagree with Sound/Word Enthusiast. Jimmie Dale Gilmore was born to sing this stuff, and in his interview in March with Terry Gross he called it his first love. That amazing voice, this material, and an old-timey string band sound were all made for each other. When you listen to this collection you can hear that everyone involved was having a good time, and so do you. So the performance isn't as tight as Bela Fleck or Flatt and Scruggs, it shouldn't be. This was music written (or written down) for amateurs to sing and play for themselves. I hope for more of this, the supply of material is endless. It's not a perfect collection, but I have too much fun listening to it to pick nits, though I do have to say that Warren Hellman did not make a billion dollars by singing.
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Format: Audio CD
...it's hard to know what goes on in Jimmie Dale Gilmore's brain these days, really. Of late, his artistic decisions have been puzzling. And by "of late," I mean basically the last decade or so. Largely flying under the radar through the '70s and '80s, he was on a remarkably sustained creative upswing through the nineties, with a trio of Elektra albums that saw him brilliantly reconciling his Lubbock western/country roots with a unique sort of post-hippie futurism, excelling as both a nuanced interpreter and as a songwriter. He peaked with "One Endless Night," his surprising collaboration with Buddy Miller, that seamlessly encompassed everything from '60s head music to rockabilly to Kurt Weill.

But that's where the picture gets hazy...his followup to "One Endless Night" was a well-intentioned but toothless and strangely detached set of country covers, rather underproduced by Joe Ely (who's been similarly coasting of late). That brings us to this puzzling little collection. Jimmie Dale and a mix of amateur and pro musicians, produced by (of all people) former Frank Black/Captain Beefheart sideman Eric Drew Feldman (of whom I'm a big fan), picking out pleasant folky stringband versions of standard folky stringband songs.

The elaborate, quasi-monumental packaging (the disk comes in a mini-hardback book, with many pages of old-timey photos of the participants--but no information about the intentions or motivations behind the sessions) is at odds with what is a very humble product. The music is warm and comfy, lived-in, but not heavy. The musicians are neither razor sharp nor sloppy, and there seems to be little to no ambition in the mix. It is what it is: Jimmie Dale singing plain versions of very common songs.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love Jimmie Dale Gilmore's voice, and he sounds wonderful on these old time songs. The Wronglers provide sympathetic back-up, and a couple females add nice harmony vocals. Only issue I have with the disc is I ordered from Amazon, but I did not receive the hardback edition with various pictures. I received a standard CD with an insert. I saw the hardback edition in another store, and it didn't cost any more.

The music is what is important, and this is a fine release for roots music fans. I hope more people will listen.
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I've been a fan of the Flatlanders and most recently Jimmie Dale Gilmore for some years now. This was a CD I thought I should own. The songs are timeless and the harmonies are right on. If you're already a fan - you might want to add this CD to your collection - and if you are just discovering J D Gilmore you won't be sorry.
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