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  Listen Up! 10/6/03 Listen Up!

Monday, Oct. 6

Various Artists, “Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs of the Louvin Brothers,” Universal South. Well, yeah, it’s a great idea to pay tribute to country music’s greatest brothers act with a series of duets between modern-day country singers. Well, sorta modern-day, in that all the best performers here have been around for a while now. Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Dolly Parton, Marty Stuart, Del McCoury, Pam Tillis, Johnny Cash (who appropriately gets the last words on the album). The problem is, as nice as a lot of these duets are, there aren’t any that let loose with the passion – heck, with the love of singing great songs – that the Louvins had back in the day. It’s not a bad record, by any means, but it doesn’t quite live up to the talent involved, or the songs themselves.

Albert Lee, “Heartbreak Hill,” Sugar Hill Records. Guitar lovers, start salivating. I haven’t heard any new records from this fantastic picker in something like a decade or more. Here, he pays tribute to his one-time employer, Emmylou Harris, performing songs from throughout her career. All of them are great, of course, and the playing is impeccable. This one comes out Oct. 14.

--Steve Pick

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