Tuesday, September 06, 2022

New Music: Van Duren documentary, Kris Kristofferson concert recording, Monica Taylor studio album

A must see music documentary on singer-songwriter great Van Duren as well as a historic recording featuring Kris Kristofferson and new studio album from Oklahoma-based songstress Monica Taylor are available now.

DVD Title:
 Waiting: The Van Duren Story (MVD Visual)
You might like if you enjoy: Paul McCartney, Big Star, Todd Rundgren, music documentaries 
Tell me more: In a perfect world Van Duren would have released a dozen or more top-selling albums over the past 45 years and would have already earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But that justified path sadly eluded the Memphis singer-songwriter/guitarist-keyboardist early in his career despite playing in bands with Jody Stephens and Chris Bell (both of Big Star fame) and assistance from manager-producer Andrew Loog Oldham (who managed The Rolling Stones from 1963 to 1967). Now a newly-released documentary, Waiting: The Van Duren Story, details the compelling story of how two Australians (Greg Carey and Wade Jackson) discovered Van Duren 40 years after hearing some of his first recordings completed in the late 1970s (for the now-legendary Are You Serious? album) and decided to make a documentary film about an artist deservedly touted as "the next Paul McCartney." The wonderful documentary (which was the winner at the Indie Memphis Film Festival in 2018 and an official selection at a number of other film festivals that year) will appeal not only to those who love melodic rock and power pop, but anyone who recognizes that for someone as talented as Van Duren there is no other choice than to follow a dream. Information: waiting-vanduren.com

Kris Kristofferson
Title: Live at Gilley’s - Pasadena, TX: September 15, 1981 (New West Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Michael Ubaldini, Johnny Cash 
Tell me more: Recorded at Gilley's in Pasadena, Texas on Sept. 15, 1981, Kris Kristofferson's new release is truly a celebration of the 86-year-old Brownsville, Texas native's enduring and timeless songcraft. From the raucous opener "Me And Bobby McGee," poignant "Casey's Last Ride" and poetic mandolin-adorned "The Pilgrim" to the deeply affecting "For The Good Times" and tender "Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)," the freewheeling concert event is a delightful trip back to a historic outing captured when Kristofferson was at the height of his powers. Other standouts on the 15-track Live at Gilley’s - Pasadena, TX: September 15, 1981 include the sparse "Here Comes That Rainbow Again" and "Nobody Loves Anybody Anymore," the country nugget "If It's All The Same To You" and bona fide classic "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down." Information: NewWestRecords.com.

Monica Taylor
Title: Trains, Rivers & Trails (Horton Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, The Cherokee Maids & Sycamore Swing 
Tell me more: Trains, Rivers & Trails is the third solo album from country music songstress Monica Taylor. A breezy and beautiful set of 11 songs, the title boasts a mix of mostly Taylor-penned originals and several smart covers that fit snugly into the stellar set. Standouts include the lively opener "The Sound of a Train," tenderhearted reading of the 1967 Glen Campbell hit "Gentle On My Mind," uptempo Cajun-tinged take on the Jim McBride & Keith Stegall co-write "Down in Louisiana" (bolstered by some fantastic fiddle work from Luke Bulla), the stylish "Minor Key" duet where Jared Tyler's vocals are also featured on the enthralling track (credited to Woody Guthrie / Billy Bragg & Wilco), gorgeous "Just Came in to Say Goodbye (a song co-written by Taylor and Patrick Williams), and uptempo bluegrass frolic "Train Take Me Away." The stirring "Salty Tears" was written about Taylor's own great great grandmother who  only 13  was driven along with other family members of the Cherokee People to Indian territory in present day Oklahoma on the infamous Trail of Tears ("Her parents and sisters died along the cold trail. This is her story," Taylor notes in press notes for the album). Information: MonicaTaylorMusic.com.

Robert Kinsler

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