CD The Executioner's Last Songs, Vols. 2-3 (CD 1052387),
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The Executioner's Last Songs, Vols. 2-3

  • 0. DISC 1:
    1. Gallows Pole
    2. Louis Collins
    3. Fall of Troy, The
    4. Banks of the Ohio
    5. Homicide
    6. Green, Green Grass of Home
    7. Death Row
    8. Gulag Blues
    9. Horses
    10. Strange Fruit
    11. One Dyin' & a Buryin' - (live)
    12. Delilah
    13. Willie O'Winsbury
    0. DISC 2:
    1. Bad News
    2. Ballad of Billy Joe, The
    3. Dang Me
    4. Forever to Burn
    5. Death Where Is Thy Sting
    6. Long Black Veil
    7. God's Eternal Love
    8. Hangin' Me Tonight
    9. John Hardy
    10. Pardon This Coffin
    11. Saviour
    12. Green, Green Grass of Home
    13. Angel of Death
    14. Tom Dooley - (live)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 95

  • Credits
    ProducerCeline; Jon Langford
    EngineerJamal Ruhe; Ken Sluiter

    All profits from THE EXECUTIONER'S LAST SONGS will benefit national anti-death penalty organizations.
    The Pine Valley Cosmonauts: Jon Langford (vocals, guitar); Sally Timms (vocals, sound effects); Celine (guitar, steel guitar, dobro, mandolin, fiddle, bouzouki, electric sitar, bass); Drew Carson (mandolin); Pat Brennan (piano, Wurlitzer piano, organ, Mellotron); Tom V. Ray (electric & double bass); Steve Goulding (drums).
    Additional personnel includes: Dave Alvin, Rhett Miller, Otis Clay, Alejandro Escovedo, Sally Timms, Mark Eitzel, Kelly Hogan (vocals); Robert Coyne (guitar); John Rauhouse (pedal steel); Chase Morrison (cello); Barcley McKay (piano, electric piano); Jamal Ruhe (bass, drums, background vocals); The Meat Purveyors; The Sundowners.
    Recorded at Western Sound Labs, Chicago, Illinois.
    Personnel: Don Walls, Jon Langford, Bobby Boyd (vocals, guitar); Sally Timms (vocals, sound effects); Gurf Morlix, Robert Coyne (guitar); Pete Purveyor, Drew Carson (mandolin); Lu Edmonds (saz); Chase Morrison, Amy Domingues (cello); Rico Bell (harmonica); Barclay McKay (piano, electric piano); Pat Brennan (piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ, Mellotron); Jamal Ruhe (toy piano, drums, background vocals); Ken Sluiter (Mellotron, keyboard bass, background vocals); Tom V. Ray (double bass, electric bass); Eddie Carlson, Joe Camarillo, Steve Goulding (drums).
    Audio Mixer: Ken Sluiter.
    Recording information: Bar RR, Chicago, IL (07/1967); Circle R, Tempe, AZ (07/1967); Fitzgerald's, Berwyn, IL (07/1967); Western Sound Labs, Chicago, IL (07/1967).
    Arrangers: Lu Edmonds; The Meat Purveyors.
    Jon Langford and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts' second collection of songs about murder, death, and dying -- recorded to benefit the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty -- certainly ups the ante of ambition and diversity over The Executioner's Last Songs, and while Vol. 2 & 3 lacks some of the purity and concision of the first disc, the consistent quality of the performances certainly compensates. Where for the most part The Executioner's Last Songs sounded like the work of a single band with a number of different singers taking their turns at the mike, on the follow-up Langford, Steven Goulding, Tom Ray, Celine, and the various guest Cosmonauts on deck bend more to the style of their guests, which given the artists on board was perhaps inevitable. Mark Eitzel, Kevin Coyne, Kurt Wagner, and David Yow, to name but four of the artists teaming up with the PVC here, are simply the sort of performers who can't help but sound like themselves, and with more original songs and contemporary compositions on display, this two-CD set suggests less of a ramble through the morbid tributaries of Anglo-American traditional music than some sort of death-obsessed folk and pop festival, where the Grim Reaper is met with good cheer (Rhett Miller's "Dang Me"), snide wit (Pat Brennan's "Death Where Is Thy Sting"), fatalistic nostalgia (Dave Alvin's "Green Green Grass of Home"), or resigned regret (Otis Clay's "Banks of the Ohio"). All 27 tracks are worth hearing, and regardless of your stand on the death penalty, The Executioner's Last Songs, Vol. 2 & 3 boasts far too much good music from too many worthy artists for anyone with even a passing interest in roots music to pass up. ~ Mark Deming

  • Critic Reviews
    CMJ (6/30/03, p.7) - "...With a lineup as enormous as the project's weight, these country alchemists sing hard about death to get you to appreciate life..."
    Mojo (Publisher) (9/03, p.105) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Superb stuff from organiser Jon Langford, Kurt Wagner, Dave Alvin et al..."
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