Kurt Wagner & Cortney Tidwell: “KORT – Invariable Heartache”
“Not so much a replication, but more of a study in reclamation. We were into the idea of making a record of the type of country that we all seemed to hold in high regard, not for the kitschy-ness or the retro-ness, but for the beauty and simplicity it could impart to the listener” – Kurt Wagner, July 2010
“Invariable Heartache” is an album inspired by a shared love of Nashville and its musical traditions. Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner – a long time champion of the city’s history and charms – and Cortney Tidwell – whose family have, for decades, played a significant part in the city’s (country) musical life – are both fervent admirers of the music that has emerged from the city.
It was an early collaboration on Cortney’s “Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up” album that led to the two of them performing together at Nashville club The Basement in the summer of 2008. Such was the crowd’s overwhelming response that evening that the idea of a duets album was born, and though work didn’t begin for well over a year the concept was never forgotten. It was discussion about Cortney’s family history that led them to the Chart Records catalogue, a label run by Cortney’s grandfather Slim Williamson, later her father Cliff Williamson was the A&R guy, and for which her mother Connie Eaton also recorded.
The result of their subsequent fascination with what they discovered on dusty forgotten vinyl is an album that pays tribute to art of the duet and the classic songwriting that lay behind many of the albums and singles released by the label, a tribute on a grander scale to the forgotten sounds of ‘Music City USA’.
The album was produced by Wagner, and recorded by Cortney’s husband Todd Tidwell and Roger Moutenot, who’s worked for Yo la Tengo and Lambchop in the past. It features a cast of Nashville musicians, and was released in the EU for City Slang Records on October 18. While it was recorded in Nashville, a US release date is unknown. It is, however, available on iTunes, and, of course, your favorite importer.
Wagner, Tidwell and the the band have just finished a European tour.
‘Incredibly Lonely’ (recorded for Chart Records by Gene & Rod, 1968)
‘Eyes Look Away’ (recorded for Chart Records by Tom Tall, 1964)
‘A Special Day’ (recorded for Chart Records by Karen Wheeler, 1972)
‘Picking Wild Mountain Berries’ (recorded for Chart Records by LaWanda Lindsey & Kenny Vernon, 1970)
‘Yours Forever’ (recorded for Chart Records by Neil McBride, 1963)
‘He’s Only A Memory Away’ (recorded for Chart Records by Dawn Glass, 1974)
‘She Came Around Last Night’ (recorded for Chart Records by Wes Helm, 1967)
‘Penetration’ (recorded for Chart Records by Three Heads, 1968)
‘April’s Fool’ (recorded for Chart Records by Tony Martin, )
‘I Can’t Sleep With You’ (recorded for Chart Records by Charlene Davidson, 1973)
‘Let’s Think About Where We’re Going’ (recorded for Chart Records by LaWanda Lindsey & Kenny Vernon, 1970)
‘Who’s Gonna Love Me Now’ (recorded for ABC Dunhill by Connie Eaton, 1975)