Jimmy Webb Cottonwood Farm
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- Released: September 21, 2009
- Label: Proper Records Us
- 2.Cottonwood Farm
- 3.Hollow Victory
- 4.Bad Things Happen To Good People
- 5.Mercury's In Retrograde
- 6.If These Walls Could Speak
- 7.Where The Universes Are
- 8.Old Tin Can
- 9.Snow Covered Christmas
- 10.Red Sails In The Sunset
Personnel: Jimmy Webb (vocals, melodica, piano, organ, background vocals); Justin Webb (vocals, guitar, banjo, melodica, piano, keyboards, background vocals); James Webb (vocals, guitar, piano, background vocals); Christiaan Webb (vocals, piano, background vocals); Bob Webb (vocals); Julian Coryell (guitar, ukulele); Cal Campbell (guitar, drums, percussion); Tim Walker (guitar); Julie Carpenter (violin, viola); Michael Levin (cello); David Moyer (flute, clarinet, saxophone); Danny Levin (horns); Camila Webb, Sara Beth Webb (background vocals).
Recording information: Graciosa, Los Angeles, CA (08/12/2008-07/01/2009); Joey's Place, Los Angeles, CA (08/12/2008-07/01/2009); The Caledonia, Calabasas, CA (08/12/2008-07/01/2009); The Cove Studios, Long Island, NY (08/12/2008-07/01/2009).
Photographer: Jessica Daschner.
Arrangers: Justin Webb; James Webb .
Always a patient and elegant songwriter, Jimmy Webb has penned some classic and enduring songs, including "Galveston," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "MacArthur Park," and "Highwayman," among many others. Although he performs live when he feels like it, often doing shows solo at the piano, he's never feverishly pursued the spotlight and stays instead focused on the song at hand, writing with a sense of hushed understatement, dropping the characters in his songs into a particular place in their lives that can't help but resonate with listeners -- few songwriters have portrayed the emotional doubts and isolation at the heart of contemporary life with such grace and compassion. The word muted somehow comes to mind, and that's exactly what this release is -- hushed, unhurried, and muted. Recorded at sessions in 2008 and 2009, Cottonwood Farm is a family affair, featuring Webb and his sons Christiaan, Justin, James, and Cornelius -- the Webb Brothers, who have three critically acclaimed albums of their own under their belts -- as well as his father, Bob Webb, and daughter, Camila. Opening with a version of Webb's "Highwayman," the album quickly swings into its emotional center with the title tune, a sweeping, 12-minute epic that is one of Webb's finest and is also perfectly suited to the familial tone of the project -- and this is a Webb Brothers album, too, with songs like the lush and elegant "Mercury's in Retrograde" showing that the sons clearly inherited a lot of their father's pop sense. The final cut is among the most poignant -- it features Webb's 86-year-old father, Bob Webb, singing a delightfully endearing version of "Red Sails in the Sunset," making this album a three-generation family affair. Anchored by "Cottonwood Farm," a song Webb wrote in the early '70s for his grandfather but never recorded, this album casually tells the Webb family story through several generations -- it's a warm fusion of history and melody from a remarkable family with an uncanny affinity for crafting its own elegant brand of pop Americana. ~ Steve Leggett
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