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Dawn Landes is one of the most fearlessly innovative musicians working today, but the songwriter has made potentially her boldest turn yet with Meet Me At The River. The 12-song collection results from an unexpected partnership with Nashville legend Fred Foster, whose list of production credits includes Roy Orbison's "Hey Pretty Woman," Dolly Parton's debut and Kris Kristofferson's first No. 1. Teaming with the Country Music Hall of Famer was far from a predictable move for Landes, whose previous collaborators include Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Norah Jones, Will Oldham and Andrew Bird. Despite shaping up as something of a musical odd couple, Landes and Foster bring the best of their respective worlds to Meet Me At The River, creating something a more conventional pairing could never touch.
For the Meet Me At The River sessions, Foster assembled an A-Team of Nashville musicians: 13-time Academy of Country Music drummer of the year Eddie Bayers, fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie McCoy on harmonica and From Elvis In Memphis pianist Bobby Wood among them. Foster even recruited Bobby Bare, with 70 hits on the country charts in a five-decade career, to duet with Landes on her original "I Don't Dance." The track is one of 10 Landes-penned songs on the record, embracing themes of heartbreak ("Why They Name Whiskey After Men"), wanderlust (the insatiably catchy "Traveling") and reckoning with youth ("Southern Girl," "Old Memories").
Meet Me At The River also sees Landes revive a pair of lost gems from folk singer Jimmy Driftwood, a Foster collaborator from the 1960s. His politically-charged "What Is The Color Of The Soul of Man" feels particularly poignant in Landes' hands, even 55 years after its initial release.