CD Virginia Creeper (CD 845600),
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Virginia Creeper

  • 1. Mona Lisa
    2. Walking Memory
    3. Lily-A-Passion
    4. Dirty Secret
    5. Always Friends
    6. Calamity Lane
    7. Josephine of the Swamps
    8. Far End of the Night
    9. Susanna Little
    10. Wish I Knew
    11. Hickory Wind
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 431043

  • Credits
    ProducerGrant Lee Phillips
    EngineerS. Husky Hoskulds

    Personnel: Grant-Lee Phillips (vocals, guitar, banjo, piano); Cindy Wasserman (vocals); Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar, dobro, mandolin); Jon Brion (ukulele); Bill Bonk (accordion); Zac Rae (keyboards, vibraphone); Sebastian Steinberg, Sheldon Gomberg (upright bass); Kevin Jarvis (drums); Danny Frankel (percussion).
    Recorded at Sunset Sound Factory, Hollywood, California in August 2003.
    Personnel: Grant Lee Phillips (vocals, guitar, banjo, piano); Cindy Wasserman (vocals); Greg Leisz (dobro, mandolin); Jon Brion (ukulele); Eric Gorfain (violin); Leah Katz (viola); Richard Dodd (cello); Bill "Luigi" Bonk (accordion); Zac Rae (keyboards, vibraphone); Sebastian Steinberg, Sheldon Gomberg (upright bass); Danny Frankel (percussion).
    Audio Mixer: S. "Husky" Hskulds.
    Recording information: Sunset Sound Factory, Hollywood, CA (2003).
    Photographer: Denise Siegel.
    Continuing to thrive in a solo setting following the late-1990s collapse of his critically acclaimed outfit Grant Lee Buffalo, Grant-Lee Phillips used VIRGINIA CREEPER as a return to creating music with a contingent of musicians, versus the go-it-alone approach he took on 2001's MOBILIZE. He's aided by a notable coterie of creative talents, including pop maestro Jon Brion and renowned pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz.
    The marriage of Phillips's dark songs and subdued musical arrangements, replete with dobro and strings, results in 11 beautifully creaky alt-country tracks that were cut in only three days. Ladies serve as inspiration on nearly half the tunes, ranging from the brassy heroine of the fiddle-driven "Calamity Jane" and the art icon of the melancholy "Mona Lisa" to the sassy namesake of the hook-soaked "Lily-a-Passion." The cherry on the top of this country-folk masterpiece is a cover of Gram Parsons's "Hickory Wind," which finds Phillips floating through a bittersweet mix of crying lap steel and Cindy Wasserman's honeyed harmonies.

  • Critic Reviews
    Entertainment Weekly (3/5/04, p.69) - "Phillips' fragile, tender songs are well suited to his uneasy protagonists....He has the rare gift of empathy..." - Rating: A-
    Q (3/04, p.109) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]he Californian's gravel-like vocals envelop the album, while his well-traveled eyes ensure the lyrics are filled with knowing experience."
    Uncut (3/04, p.90) - 4 stars out of 5 - "VIRGINIA CREEPER rewards repeat listening, as its seductive, heartfelt stories unfurl."
    Mojo (Publisher) (2/04, p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[A] golden egg of a folk-country album that gives and gives....It all adds up to one fabulous, strangely soothing listen; one upon which much care, forethought and love has clearly been lavished."
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