Bruce Robison And Kelly Willis Our Year on LP + CD
Includes Full-Length CD in the LP Packaging
If Austin’s happily egalitarian music scene suddenly switched to a monarchy, Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis might have to learn to perform while balancing hefty crowns. The two already reign as one of Americana music’s coolest couples, and their latest release, Our Year, elevates them closer to the lofty territory once occupied by beloved royals Johnny ’n’ June and George ’n’ Tammy.
They fell in love while harmonizing together, though it took them until 2013 to release their first officially billed joint effort: Cheater’s Game. Their debut was very well received and Willis and Robison felt the wind at their backs. They were eager to return to the studio. “With this album, we feel like we’re completing the picture,” Willis says. “These songs have been poking us on the shoulder, dying to be heard. We just didn’t feel like we were done. We had more to say.”
Working again in Nashville with producer Brad Jones, they delivered their musical thoughts in 10 outstanding tracks, from formidable originals to well-honed covers including a knockout version of the Tom T. Hall-penned “Harper Valley PTA.” Jeannie C. Riley’s 1968 hit sounds like a classic all over again in the hands of this pair - and the chicken-pickin’, mandolin-plucking, shaker-grooving players who back them on this tart tale.
Their harmonies align perfectly on such excellently chosen melodies as the country-rocker “Motor City Man,” by the late Walter Hyatt; T Bone Burnett’s “Shake Yourself Loose,” a beautifully melancholy duet; “I’ll Go To My Grave Loving You,” a fiddle-sweetened Statler Brothers hit; and “(Just Enough to Keep Me) Hanging On,” the Ira Allen/Buddy Mize-penned nugget Vern Gosdin recorded with Emmylou Harris.
Willis and Robison also chose “Departing Louisiana,” by Robyn Ludwick, the youngest of three Robison singer-songwriter siblings. Darden Smith and Robison co-wrote the waltz-time “Carousel,” which he describes as “a classic country weeper.” Monte Warden collaborated with Robison on the bittersweet ode to youthful innocence, “Anywhere But Here,” which Willis describes as “classic Bruce poetry.” She penned the bluesy honky-tonker “Lonely for You” with Paul Kennerley; and they plucked the album’s title track, a Zombies song, from their annual Christmas show.
Bruce Robison And Kelly Willis Our Year Track Listing:
1. Departing Louisiana
2. Motor City Man
4. Lonely for You
5. A Hangin' On
6. Shake Yourself Loose
7. Harper Valley PTA
8. Anywhere But Here
9. I'll Go To My Grave Loving You
10. This Will Be Our Year