One of the worlds greatest country singers is revisiting the sounds of her Kentucky girlhood.
Patty Loveless has been on a journey that takes her back to a simpler place and time, the days when she was beginning to explore the sounds that would later bring her awards, millions in sales and wide critical acclaim. That journey has resulted in Sleepless Nights: The Traditional Country Soul of Patty Loveless, a roots-music collection of striking power and finesse.
Picture a little girl in Pikeville, KY, sitting on the floor with her guitar in hand. Around her are strewn vinyl record albums that she is playing repeatedly, intently memorizing their lyrics and melodies.
"This is how it used to be in my bedroom when I was a little girl," Patty recalls. "I used to go in there and lay out the records and just listen to them over and over, until I learned the song, like everybody does.
"Thats what the whole concept for this album was, to take me back to that period in my life. Another reason I wanted to do a record such as this is that there are so many young people coming along today in country music. I dont want them to forget where it all came from. I want to give these young people a good image of countrys past."
And so the gifted stylist applies her one-of-a-kind Appalachian alto to classic honky-tonk George Jones chestnuts such as "He Thinks I Still Care" and "Color of the Blues." On Sleepless Nights, youll find classic country waltzes like the cautionary female tale "I Forgot More Than Youll Ever Know" and the yield-not-to-temptation "cheating" song "Dont Let Me Cross Over."
Patty revels in the harmony-drenched "Sleepless Nights" and "The Pain of Loving You." But her stark, solo performances of the drinking standard "There Stands the Glass" and the Hank Williams heartache immortal "Cold, Cold Heart" are ringing reminders of her spine-tingling power as an interpreter. "Thats All it Took" is a classic country shuffle, while "Why Baby Why" finds her confidently belting in a proto-rockabilly style.
Pattys entire repertoire has been characterized by fierce emotional honesty. On this collection, this quality is perhaps best illustrated in her gripping readings of "The Next in Line" and "There Goes My Everything." From "Crazy Arms" to "Please Help Me Im Falling," these are all songs that gleam with pure-country authenticity. And who better to sing them than Patty
"Well, it does feel natural," she admits. "We had a really good time. I hadnt been in the studio in a while. I think 2004 was the last time, when we were recording [2005s] Dreamin My Dreams album. It was all very relaxed. There was no pressure."