DIARY - 10 AUGUST 2009 - HEIDI NEWFIELD CD REVIEW
WHAT AM I WAITING FOR (SONY-CURB)
JOHNNY AND JUNE - A NEW TUNE
there's something 'bout a man in black/ makes me wanna buy a Cadillac/
throw the top back and roll down to Jackson Town/ I wanna be there on
the stage with you,
you and I can be the next rage too/ hear the crowd roar, make them want
more and kick the footlights out." - Johnny And June - Heidi Newfield.
is littered with artists hitching wagons to country icons with tribute
songs and discs.
Many are refried rockers with a disdain for - and tenuous links - to the
genre where they fled after pop careers faded.
Quite often those tributes are dreary as their retreat into dark niches
Luckily, former Trick Pony singer Heidi Newfield, like Buddy & Julie
Miller and Oklahoma born Becky Hobbs, had credible insight for her tune
Johnny And June.
The Millers cut Julie's tune June on their latest disc Written
And Hobbs wrote (There Will Never Be (Another Johnny Cash) for
her 2005 disc Songs From The Road Of Life that she showcased on
her 2008 Australian tour with Kacey Jones.
Fellow Highwaymen Kris Kristofferson recorded Good Morning John
for Cash about the man in black's struggles with addiction early in his
life for his new album Closer To The Bone.
Newfield fled the Trick Pony stable and stayed with the Cash clan at their
Jamaica and Nashville homes in their final five years.
"I want the Cash family to look at this song and be proud of it,"
says Newfield, 38.
Sure, Heidi and co-writers Deanna Bryant and Stephony Smith, adorn it
with Cash song titles.
But they weave the Cash demolition of concert footlights into a song -
a metaphor for yearning love strong as twice wed Johnny and thrice wed
singing spouse June Carter.
The Cash tribute won five nominations in the Academy Of Country Music
Awards in Las Vegas in April.
a street light green, I got an old mustang/ I got a small town get out
anywhere but here dreams/ and an open road, what am I waiting for/ well
I'm five years in to a two year plan/ still standing here with the walls
closing in." - What Am I Waiting For - Heidi Newfield-Ira Dean-Keith
had some trepidation," Newfield revealed of her decision to go
"I wasn't sure if the industry would look at it as a positive
and support me or say, 'She's been out there and done her thing and
had her shot.'"
But the Cash eulogy is just one genuine gem on the debut by the Northern
California equestrian farm graduate.
Newfield had a brace of hits with Trick Pony in their decade long
reign from 1996 but she chose to walk the plank in 2006 and blaze
her own trail in 2007.
The band's peak was On a Night Like This that reached No. 4
It was worth
dismounting from a trio that featured Cash and Willie on its discs - her
album peaked at #2 on debut and the Cash tune, replete with video, reached
Her album title track is a salient signpost to her dreams of freedom and
independence. The character in song penned by Heidi and former Trick Ponies
Ira Dean, Keith Burns and former Boy Howdy refugee Jeffrey Steele, is
trapped in the prison of a faded love.
Or, as she confessed to Dean and Burns - even a fading band.
Newfield entrées with ruptured romance requiems Can't Let Go,
penned by Randy Weeks and cut by Lucinda Williams, and original lament
When Tears Fall Down as her prelude to her Cash tribute.
can of car does she drive/ is her hair as soft as mine/ where does she
live, does she have any kids/ does her touch make you weak/ what's it
like to love her and to lose me/ what kind of perfume does she like."
- Love Her And Lose Me - Heidi Newfield-Dean Dillon-Dale Dotson.
covers diverse shades of love on a disc produced by Tony Brown - former
Elvis and Rodney Crowell pianist - and studio czar for artists diverse
as Kelly Willis, the early Steve Earle, Vince Gill, George Strait, Mavericks,
Brooks & Dunn, Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire.
Brown and Gill were in Crowell's Cherry Bombs who doubled as the touring
band for the Texan's former singing spouse Rosanne Cash.
Meanwhile back to Newfield.
There's curiosity about a new belle in Love Her And Lose Me, penned
with Dean Dillon and Dale Dotson, fleeing alcoholic lovers in new single
Cry, Cry, Cry and punishing partners in Lori McKenna's Wreck
She has already made a video for Cry, Cry, Cry.
Newfield's song sequencing is superb - lost love peaks in original Nothin'
Burns Like A Memory - penned with Dean and Eric Silver - that segues
into joyous All I Wanna Do (a Newfield collaboration with Al Anderson.)
comes what Granny's been dreadin'/a bellyful of baby and a shotgun weddin'."
- Shotgun Wedding - Angaleena Presley-Mark D Sanders.
jogging on jagged edges of heaving hearts her album finale is not gospel,
like many peers, but the rollicking shotgun wedding tale Knocked Up.
No, it's not the Loudon Wainwright 111 movie theme.
But instead a vivid spoof by Mark Sanders and Angaleena Presley - also
cut by Hunter Valley vamp Kirsty Lee Akers on second disc Better Days.
Presley is a prolific writer for Ten Ten Music - operated by expatriate
Australasian Barry Coburn and singing spouse Jewel Blanch Coburn.
But in a twist of mirthful marketing Akers beat Newfield to the small
screen with a video for that memorable song.
Not to worry - this is a delicious disc that grows on each listen.
It's absolute aural and cerebral joy.
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