Pat Green & Cory Morrow Songs We Wish We'd Written

Songs We Wish We'd Written (Universal)

Pat Green & Cory Morrow

Songs We Wish We'd Written

Amazing, isn't it, what Lloyd Maines can do in the studio. It'd be easy to dislike this LP considering the premise (covers of well-established country songs by Waylon, Merle, Shaver, etc.), but it's actually not bad. The biggest problem with a project like this is the risk of making every song sound like the one before it, and losing the original spirit and intent of the tunes; given Morrow and Green's limitations as singers, it would have been easy to do just that if it hadn't been for Maines' flawless ear for arrangements and mixes. Things kick off with a passable cover of "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," and hits high points with versions of Steve Fromholz's "I'd Have to Be Crazy" and Merle Haggard's "Red Bandanna," featuring Redd Volkaert on guitar. By the same token, Maines should have stepped in to discourage these local boys' covers of Gerry Rafferty's "Stuck in the Middle With You," and the Blind Faith chestnut "Can't Find My Way Home," which winds up with a mystical-psychedelic treatment that might fit on some other CD. Pat Green's fresh-faced vocals tend to rob some of the emotion from John Prine's "Paradise"; it's easy to imagine Prine in Kentucky coal country, but not Green. Still and all, fans should eat it up and the radio should play it; let's just hope folks remember where these songs came from for a side-by-side compare-and-contrast.

**.5

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