CD Review: Marley’s Ghost Presents “Jubilee”
It really isn’t a joke to say that if you miss “Jubilee” by Marley’s Ghost, it will haunt you.
Sure, the band released the album to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary, but you don’t need a shred of background to jump right in and enjoy the “Jubilee.” Same goes for the list of household names on this project that includes Emmylou Harris, John Prine, and Old Crow Medicine Show. Still, it’s likely prudent to read the guest list. Otherwise you risk being jarred from your musical bliss when one of the famous voices surfaces on a track, pulling you into an “Isn’t that….” search.
And there’s no need for that.
The point is that the guests on this album are delicious seasonings to Marley’s Ghost country-with Marty-Robbins-style-western-music. complete with masterful fiddle, steel guitar and other classic country instrumentation. Consider “Diamond Joe,” which is filled with lilting harmonies and soaring fiddles. What sets the song apart is the purity with which the music is played and the obvious joy (and expertise!) of the singers.
And the spine tingling, steel guitar-filled ballad “If You Were a Bluebird” will transport you right to the rewind button of your own lost loves.
Compare those songs to ones such as “Hank and Audrey,” the ballad of Hank Williams and [one of his] beloved wives and you’ll understand. Marty Stuart is something of an expert on Hank Williams so enlisting him to help tell the story of the raucous, substance fueled life and love of the parents of Hank Williams Jr. is brilliant for several reasons. But think of it like a dollop of whipped cream on pie – delightful but not crucial.
To say that Marley’s Ghost creates music that sounds as if it came right from the best of the Grand Ole Opry doesn’t do it justice. Hank and Audrey may have written the book on country music, as the song goes, but Marley’s Ghost is among the couple’s finest delegates.
Find out more about Marley’s Ghost and listen to music from “Jubilee” on the band’s website.