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Steve Young: Seven Bridges Road (1972)

Steve Young: Seven Bridges Road (1972)

Country Guitars Western
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What distinguishes Steve Young's classic Seven Bridges Road -- a follow-up to the well-received A&M album Rock Salt and Nails -- is the appearance of Young's signature tunes: the title track; "Lonesome, On'ry & Mean," which was a smash for Waylon Jennings as an outlaw anthem and established Young as a songwriter for many other country stars; and the melodic jeremiad "Montgomery in the Rain." Seven Bridges Road is also the most purely "country" record Young ever issued. There is no rock & roll on this set, and there aren't any folk songs either. It's pretty much a honky tonk record in the Merle Haggard vein, with a voice equally influenced by the West Coast folk-rock sound. Nashville's session cats -- including Pete Drake on pedal steel, fiddle ace Buddy Spicher, harmonica player Charlie McCoy, Elvis sideman D.J. Fontana, producer and pianist David Briggs, and more than a dozen others -- contributed to the album. All but three tracks were written or co-written by Young; of the covers, his read of Haggard's "I Can't Hold Myself in Line" is a stunner. On the humorous side, "The White Trash Song" -- performed with the Last Mile Ramblers -- is a stomping electric bluegrass number that hints at the more rockist direction Young would be heading in on future recordings. But it is on the three bona fide classics that we encounter a fully developed Young, not only as a songwriter, but as a singer. In particular, "Seven Bridges Road" and "Montgomery in the Rain" offer a writer who has taken everyone from Thomas Wolfe to Hank Williams and turned them into something completely his own: prosaic, profound, and scathingly original. This is a bona fide masterpiece. [A Chinese version was also released.]
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The album code is : ODI194900