Thanks to artists like Jim Lauderdale, Mary Gauthier, Steve Earle, Darrell Scott and Gillian Welch, it’s safe to say I’m now fully into country music. Not NashPop. Real, old-time country.
I’ve always been a sucker for genius singer-songwriters, but I’ve tended to focus in years past on rockers like Warren Haynes, John Bell and Jerry Joseph. At any rate, I’m now highly receptive to country-influenced music, or straight up country. Which makes Van Morrison’s new release Pay The Devil so rich.
A master of reinvention, Van’s appreciation of America’s oldest music, from jazz and blues to folk and gospel, has inspired countless recordings, so it’s not surprising he would come out with a country album at the age of 60.
“Pay the Devil” features by songs popularized by Webb Pierce (“There Stands the Glass”), Hank Williams (“Your Cheatin’ Heart”), Conway Twitty (“What Am I Living For”), Emmylou Harris (“‘Til I Gain Control”), Big Joe Turner (“Don’t You Make Me High”) and George Jones (“Things Have Gone to Pieces”), among others. There are three originals, as well.