Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 116

SeeiNg the Light

i

Saw The Light, the
recently released Hank
Williams Sr. biopic,
stars Tom Hiddleston as
the iconic, troubled country singer and songwriter
who left an indelible impact on American music
before dying in 1953 at
age 29, awash in alcohol
and drugs. Presented
documentary-style, it covers the last nine years of
Williams' life. This digitalonly soundtrack album
spans old and new, as
the producers' determination to create a narrative
infused with authenticity
and accuracy extended to
the soundtrack.
Nashville singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell,
the film's music director,
faithfully re-created the
sound of Hank's famed
backup band, the Drifting
Cowboys, and assisted
Hiddleston in capturing
his own take on Hank's
raw, twangy style.
Crowell and a group
of Nashville players
dubbed the Saddle Spring

Rodney Crowell,
Richard Bennett,
Wes Langlois, Chris
scruggs, and others
Music From the Motion
Picture I Saw The Light

Boys proved up to the
task. The guitar work is
in the capable hands of
Crowell, veteran Nashville
producer and session
guitarist Richard Bennett,
and Wes langlois, who
portrays Drifting Cowboy steel guitarist Don
Helms in the film. Chris
Scruggs ably re-created
Helms' distinctive nonpedal steel sound. using
vintage equipment helped
achieve a period sound.
Hiddleston's vocals
on "Honky Tonkin',"

Vintage guitar

116

July 2016

he brings are at least as important as his
guitar talents.
For instance, it's hard to imagine Lloyd
choosing "Shenandoah," a sea shanty from
the early 1800s that's been recorded by a
gamut stretching from Dave Alvin to Judy
Garland (as well as Frisell). But his round
tenor tone perfectly marries the melody,
with Frisell's crystalline fills and Greg Leisz's
economical steel deftly complementing it.
Leisz's presence is also a Frisell byproduct - the two having worked together
extensively. Though he's recorded with a
who's who of artists, from k.d. lang to Eric
Clapton to the Bangles, jazz is not typically
in Leisz's wheelhouse. But while he and
Frisell pull Lloyd into so-called Americana
territory, they meet the jazz icon more than
halfway. Latin flute workouts "Sombrero
Sam" and "Of Course, Of Course" have been
originals in Lloyd's repertoire 50 years, but
the former begins with a five-minute Frisell
intro, while the latter's pedal steel solo seems
right at home.
Nice cameo vocals by Norah Jones and
Willie Nelson do nothing to detract from
this fine eclectic "jazzicana" album. - Dan
Forte

steve Kimock

Last Danger of Frost
There comes a
time in a musician's
life when he confronts the inevitable
question, "Who am
I? Am I a mimic simply regurgitating other
people's ideas? Do I blindly repeat stylistic
patterns and guidelines I've been fed? Or
am I free? Am I an artist?"
This is the motivation behind Steve
Kimock's latest.
The rock journeyman and jam-band
specialist has crafted an aural meditation
that springs from the childlike innocence
of picking up a guitar for the first time.
It's a work of pure unfettered beauty and
freedom. Using a mix of acoustic, ambient,
and electronic sounds, Kimock creates rich
soundscapes devoid of discernable form that
sends the listener on an intimate metaphysical journey.
Kimock's compositions evoke moods,
panoramic vistas, and the peaceful grandeur
of Mother Nature. Baritone lap steels, kalimbas, elderly six-string guitars, and Mutron
IIIs mingle with plaintive fingerpicking.
Swirling airy effects caress and soothe
on the title track, while two guitars conjure

Tom Hiddleston: Sam Emerson/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

Tom Hiddleston as
Hank Williams, Sr.,
complete with Gibson
Southern Jumbo.

"Jambalaya," "Hey Good
lookin'," "My Bucket's Got
A Hole In It," and "Move
It On Over" have become
a topic of debate (some,
including Hank Williams
III, have been critical).
Instrumentally, however,
the musicians conjure
up the authentic Drifting
Cowboys sound heard on
Hank's MGM recordings,
transcribed radio shows,
and live airchecks. Their
relaxed feel avoids the
clinical sterility that often
undermines attempts
to resurrect a classic
musical sound. Stuart
Duncan and larry Franklin
handle fiddle parts.
That alone would
be impressive, but the
soundtrack includes
vintage hits, most from
Hank's era, with some
impressive guitarists.
The 1949 Eddy Arnold #1
single "Anytime" features
the non-pedal steel of
longtime sideman little
Roy Wiggins. George
Morgan's "Please Don't
let Me love you" includes
steel guitarist Billy Robinson and guitarists Grady
Martin and Zeb Turner.
The Delmore Brothers'
hypnotic "Field Hand
Man" features powerful
rhythm guitar licks by
Turner's brother Zeke, who
also played on some of
Hank's records. Emmett
Miller's 1928 recording
of Hank's signature tune
"lovesick Blues" (a record
Hank owned) includes
Eddie lang. Jump blues
singer-guitarist Jimmy
liggins accompanies
himself on "That's What's
Knockin' Me Out."
In all, an impressive
merger of old and retro -
accompanied by glorious
guitar and pedal steel
throughout. - Rich Kienzle


http://youtu.be/6bKjhqvbHs8?list=PL53533538AA730B62 http://youtu.be/6bKjhqvbHs8?list=PL53533538AA730B62 http://youtu.be/qDcDwqJ4jdM?list=PL53533538AA730B62 http://www.vintageguitar.com

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