Personnel: Dann Huff (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, gut-string guitar); Mike Henderson (electric guitar); Bruce Bouton (steel guitar, dobro); Dan Dugmore (dobro, banjo, percussion); John Wittenberg, Anatoly Rosinsky, Robert Matsuda, Michael Markman, Berj Garabedian, Mario Diaz de Leon (violin); Denyse Buffum (viola); Dan Tobin Smith, Suzie Katayama, Dan Smith, Carl Gorodetzky (cello); Steve Cohn (accordion); Eric Darken (bass guitar, percussion); Glenn Worf, Paul Bushnell (bass guitar); Shannon Forrest (drums, percussion); Shannon Forest (drums); Brett E. Warren, Gene Miller, Lisa Cochran, Liana Manis (background vocals); Jay Joyce, Tom Bukovac (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Darrell Scott (acoustic guitar, mandolin); Bryan Sutton (acoustic guitar); Kenny Greenberg (electric guitar, electric mandolin); Byron Gallimore (electric guitar, organ, keyboards); Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Aubrey Haynie (mandolin, fiddle); Stuart Duncan (mandolin); Michele Richards, Roberto Cani, Bruce Dukov, Sara Parkins, Robert Peterson, Armen Garabedian, Darius Campo, Josefina Vergara, Susan Chatman, Charlie Bisharat, Endre Granat (violin); Roland Kato, Evan Wilson, Bob Becker (viola); Paula Hochhalter, John Catchings, Larry Corbett, Stephen Erdody, Steve Richards (cello); Jimmy Nichols (accordion, piano, organ, keyboards); Tim Lauer (accordion); Gordon Mote (piano); Charles Judge (organ, keyboards, string synthesizer); Chris McHugh, Matt Chamberlain, Vinnie Colaiuta (drums); Javier Solís (percussion); Crystal Taliefero, Greg Barnhill, Kelly Willis, Rhonda Vincent, Tim McGraw, Wes Hightower, Bekka Bramlett, Perry Coleman (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Byron Gallimore; David Thoener; Greg Droman; Justin Niebank.
Recording information: Blackbird Studios, Nashville, TN (03/04/2004-12/09/2004); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (03/04/2004-12/09/2004); Emerald ENtertainment, Nashville, TN (03/04/2004-12/09/2004); Essential Sound, Nashville, TN (03/04/2004-12/09/2004); Henson Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (03/04/2004-12/09/2004); Jane's Place, Nashville, TN (03/04/2004-12/09/2004); OceanWay, Nashville, TN (03/04/2004-12/09/2004); Premium Recording Services, Austin, TX (03/04/2004-12/09/2004); Starstruck, Nashville, TN (03/04/2004-12/09/2004); The Castle, Nashville TN (03/04/2004-12/09/2004); The Sound Kitchen, Nashville, TN (03/04/2004-12/09/2004).
Photographer: Andrew McPherson .
Coming after the relative commercial disappointment of 2002's pop-oriented CRY--and, not at all coincidentally, Gretchen Wilson's rise as the new Everygirl of country--Faith Hill's FIREFLIES is a blatant attempt to ditch the singer's glamourpuss image and reassert her country roots, such things having become fashionable again. This isn't a problem, however: Shania Twain-like chart pop wasn't Hill's forte, and FIREFLIES brings her back where she belongs.
The first single, "Mississippi Girl," is Hill's best song in years. A Dixie Chicks-like piece of sweet country-pop with a few bluegrass trimmings, the tune was written by country hitmaker John Rich. Rich also penned some of the other standouts here, like the laid-back "Sunshine and Summertime" and "Like We Never Loved At All," a dramatic, '70s-style duet between Hill and her husband Tim McGraw. Three other songs are from the catalogue of alt-country singer/songwriter Lori McKenna, taking Hill into a folkish vein similar to Mary-Chapin Carpenter. The overall lack of bombast suits Hill's girl-next-door delivery perfectly, making FIREFLIES a much-needed artistic comeback after a dubious detour.