Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Frisco Mabel Joy
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
A criminally-overlooked artist has left us....
Doug Vencill | Independence, MO United States | 10/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A little earlier this evening, I tuned into CNN2 and got word that Mickey Newbury has passed away at age 62. The world has lost a tremendously-talented singer songwriter who, for me, belonged in the same league as all the greats: Bruce Cockburn, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, John Martyn, Don McLean, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Nick Drake, & Duncan Sheik...I was so hoping that at some point in my life Mickey would tour and come through the midwest again so that I could catch him here in Kansas City, and hopefully be able to meet him backstage and have him autograph my well-worn radio station copy of Frisco Mabel Joy. This wonderful album has been a companion of mine for years, and my fondest memories of my senior year of high school included hearing "An American Trilogy" on our local Top 40 station in the small town in Nebraska where I grew up. This was, and continues to be one of the most beautiful, heart-tugging pieces of Americana these ears have ever heard. (I've since been able to forgive the late King of Rock & Roll for doing his own cheesy, Vegas-style version of this song.) This is not a perfect Mickey Newbury album, but as close to it as they come. I'm partial to the man's ballads...along with "Trilogy," heartbreakers such as "You're Not My Same Sweet Baby" and "Remember the Good" rank right up there with the best of them. It would be obvious to anyone with something larger than a marble for a brain that Mickey, like so many of the troubadors of the 60's and 70's, went through a lot of strife & inner torment, lived to tell about it, and shared those experiences with us through the gifts of their songs. I can't recommend this album highly enough for anyone who appreciates the kind of music that hits you so hard, and presses every one of your buttons, that before you know it, you notice that there's a smile on your face as the tears fall from your eyes. God bless you, Mick, for giving us a masterpiece of a recording that has held up flawlessly over the last 31 years. The world is just a little bit darker in the wake of your passing, and my guess is that the ones who've gone on before you are planning a hell of an after-life jam session to welcome you. Be at peace, brother...all your trials are now over."
Doug Vencill | 10/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Browsing through MOJO magazine's 100 GREAT ALBUMS OF ALL TIME, I came across the entry for FRISCO MABEL JOY. I never heard of Mickey Newberry but what I read was intruiging. "Meloncholic" and "rain soaked" were some of the words used to describe this album. Fortunately, the timing of my discovery was good. Someone finally got around to reissuing the record on CD for the first time (after 30 years!). I'm glad they did.Unbeknownst to me, I'd actually heard a Mickey Newberry tune before. I always got a kick out of Elvis'cheesy "American Trilogy" medley. But Newberry's original stringing together of "Dixie" - "Glory Glory" - & "All My Trials" is infinitely more moving. In the wake of patriotism following September 11th, it's even more poignant than it was. That said, I was intially put off by the dated sappiness of the production. It kind of sounded like over-produced Townes Van Zandt. Still, I was grabbed enough by the quality of the songs to look beyond that. It takes a superficial heart not to be moved by songs like "How Times Must The Piper Be Paid For This Song" and "Remember The Good". If you're in need of vocal comparisons, he sounds a lot like an early Tom Waits (with a country-boy drawl). The down & out imagry of the lyrics is sure to welcome many a Waits fan as well. Since FRISCO came out some years before CLOSING TIME, I'd venture to guess he was a big influence on young Tom. In spite of seeming sentimentality, songs like "The Future's Not What It Used To Be" have a biting sense of irony. Newberry's a subtle lyric writer with an understated wit. A fine example of this is "How I Love Them Old Songs". After 10 songs of meloncholic lines like "it's a hollow ringing place like today", "Old Songs" romps on in ---it's honky tonk cheerfulness betraying an underlying cynicism. Grazing through titles like "Frisco Depot" and lines about a certain "Mabel Joy" it's not too hard to gather that this is what the critics like to call a "concept album". From the samplings of rain, trains, & lonely whistles that crop up in between songs to the (possibly overblown) use of strings, it's not hard to see there's a "theme" at work. As far as concept albums go, FRISCO ranks right up there with SGT. PEPPER'S and Serge Gainsborug's MELODY NELSON. A lost classic of the folk/country variety. One other thing you should know is that there's a 12th unlisted track. In keeping with the "concept" motif, it's a sad, old story-song about a Georgia farmboy with a bullet in his heart for a certain Mabel Joy.To sum up, this record's a treasure. Newberry ranks right up there among other great unrecognized luminaries such as Fred Neil, Tim Rose & David Ackles---names that seem to have been lost through the passage of time. FRISCO MABEL JOY goes to show he's deserving of the kind of re-discovery that has embraced Nick Drake in recent years. Here's to future reissues."
Doggone my soul, how I love them old songs.
Chuck Hofmann | Baker City, OR USA | 12/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Almost 30 years. The Johnny Carson Show. A guy named Newbury performing "An American Trilogy" on late night TV. After that night, one of the few purposes of my life was waiting for the next Mickey Newbury album to be released. Back then, one of the hottest audio inventions of the time was the diamond stylus by Pickering. I saved and I saved and I bought one of those things. I'll be damned if I didn't wear that diamond out playing and replaying "Frisco Mable Joy". Turned out that worn out stylus didn't do the vinyl much good, either.Recently, I was brought to tears when I listened to "Frisco Mable Joy Revisited". To hear those tunes on a CD started to tear my heart out all over again. But the disc just made me more lonesome for "the one and only". So lonesome, in fact, that I got out that worn out lp and started playing it over and over again. Now, thanks to Mickey and Mountain Retreat Productions, I can hear the music the way I remember it.You know, I've waited almost 30 years for this album to be released on a single CD. The music is truly timeless and as gut-wrenching now as it was then. And I'm downright tickled to listen to my kids play it, teenagers who know great music when they hear it.If you can only buy one CD this Christmas season, it has to be this one. Mickey, thanks again."