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Red Headed Stranger

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 23, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

The classic Willie Nelson concept album covered in its entirety by ex-Geraldine Fibbers frontwoman. Features Willie Nelson on three tracks. 13 tracks in digipak format. Debut release on Revolver USA in-house label. 2003.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dicristina Stair
  • ASIN: B0000AISL7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,348 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pharoah S. Wail VINE VOICE on February 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I got this album at the same time as I bought Natalie Merchant's newest album, the House Carpenters Daughter. The surface description of both albums could be similar... Contemporary female artists reinterpret classic "Americana".
The similarities end there. Both albums are excellent but could hardly be more different. I guess I'd say that Natalie's focuses more on the power of the songs, stories, and lyrics themselves, while Carla's is more of an opium den epic reinterpretation full of strange beauty.
I bought this one mainly to hear whether or not it worked. I mean, Carla heading sort of an augmented version of the Nels Cline Singers with guest appearances by Willie Nelson himself. You have to admit, one doesn't hear the outrageous free improvisations of Nels in other settings and generally think "Yeah, Nels and Willie Nelson would be great together!", but this album came together beautifully. Nels' lap steel tone and playing are a particularly lovely surprise. I'd never heard him play this, and as far as I am concerned he can play it even more in the future.
On the track 5 Red Headed Stranger we get a jugalbandi alap-styled intro by Nels on electric guitar and Jenny Scheinman on violin followed by Time Of The Preacher segueing into one of the highlights of the album, Just As I Am. This one could be from one of Bjork's strange dreams. A great track.
Down Yonder is a classic as well. Almost as if Sun Ra and his Arkestra decided to do their version of the soundtrack to Quigley Down Under.
There is just sort of a wonderfully creepy mood across most of this album that I can't get enough of.
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Format: Audio CD
Carla Bozulich covering the entire Willie Nelson concept album from the 70's The Red Headed Stranger. I know I know "a country western album??" give it a chance, this is a mind blower. reminded me of floyd, willie nelson, radiohead, some arabic spiritual, cabaret, and experimental all rolled in to one beautiful album. Take Willie's original concept album and set it in Stephen king's Gunslinger universe and thats what you'll hear on this cd.
Willie even appears on 2 songs!
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Format: Audio CD
We're all familiar with cover songs and artists who like to make them, but Carla Bozulich has taken it even a step further by covering Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger in its entirety. To make things even more interesting and focused, Nelson himself makes several appearances and lends a hand in the production of his 1975 country classic. Admittedly, I have never been much of a Willie Nelson enthusiast, but that's only because I simply never made the effort to dig in to much of his catalogue. If you're like me, maybe Bozulich's love for the album and her accompanied musicians, namely the Nels Cline Singers, will change all that with this beautifully haunting rendition that should not go unnoticed.
Not knowing much about Nelson's original version of Red Headed Stranger, I was able to listen to Bozulich's remake without any preconceived ideas of how the differences would affect me. Even after only one listen, I have to tell you that I really liked it. Since then, it's become even more grandiose in quality for me. It's somewhere between Neko Case, Catherine Irwin, and Sunburned Hand of the Man.
Like the other aforementioned artists, its attention to detail and pure musicianship is what makes it and incredible music experience. At the same time, it's also a very dark, gritty and eerie experience to wade through. On the most famous track "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," simplicity is the only thing required in order to make this the best, and most traditional, sounding song here. The instrumentals (`Down Yonder' and `Just As I Am') are just as strong on their own as those that capture the haunting vocals of Bozulich.
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Format: Audio CD
Well, I'll join the 5 star parade since I haven't been able to stop listening to this since I got it last Saturday at Carla's performance at Tonic here in NYC. I won't get all rock-criticky on ya (the last reviewer handled that just fine), I'll just describe it in layman's terms as an awesome modern interpretation of the master's classic concept album. Alternately Sonic Youth-like (the harrowing murder parts) and remarkably faithful versions (the Willie duets). I imagine myself driving very fast through the Arizona desert with low-beams blazing, listening to this very loud. Long-time collaborator Nels Cline is ALL OVER this disc, and must be quite gracious in accepting no billing. But we all love Carla to death and would do anything for her, so I totally understand. And go see them perform this, they even do a few Fibbers (Carla's previous band) songs (we got Marmalade, Bitter Honey and Lilybelle, yeah!). And buy this record (too bad yours won't have XOX Carla in Sharpie like mine!), and get Willie's original (it's sooo good!). And if you got any green left over, delve into the Fibber's catalog, it's great stuff all.
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