Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Tribute [Columbia/Egyptian, 1997]
Something about the spiritual proximity of country music's TB-racked founder-hero--plus, perhaps, Bob Dylan's grizzled guidance--moved these lovefesters to sing like the lowly mortals they are. Neatniks David Ball and Mary-Chapin Carpenter must have been warming up when somebody rolled the tape; even Bono comes down off his high horse a little, although his failure to get his feet out of the stirrups compels him to sing with his head up his ass anyway. As for Jerry Garcia, he just laid down his track yesterday with his new old-timey group, Dead and in the Way. Meanwhile, the great ones--Nelson, DeMent, Earle, and, in this context, Mellencamp, with Dylan topping them all--roll around in their cracks and crannies. Set off by loose-jointed arrangements that move naturally from Dixieland horns to I-for-Indiana fiddle, they reimagine these old songs as if the man who wrote them had had a chance to get old himself. Which in a sense he now has. A