Linda Ronstadt: Hand Sown . .. Home Grown/Silk Purse (Raven/EMI)

 |   |  1 min read

Linda Ronstadt: Lovesick Blues (from Silk Purse)
Linda Ronstadt: Hand Sown . .. Home Grown/Silk Purse (Raven/EMI)

Long before she was a country-rock cover star and dating California governor Jerry Brown in the late Seventies, Linda Ronstadt was a singer struggling to find her forte.

Her albums with the Stone Poneys showed her folk-rock chops and their cover of Mike Nesmith's Different Drum gave them a hit but also signalled a solo career beckoning for Ronstadt.

Her first two solo albums from '69 and '70 -- here gathered on one disc by Raven Records, with good liner notes -- have long been out of print which has been a shame because they show an artist really finding her voice in what would become country-rock, and pulling material from a remarkably wide range of sources for Hand Sown . . .Home Grown: Bob Dylan (Baby You've Been on My Mind, I'll Be Your Baby Tonight), Randy Newman (Bet No One Hurt This Bad), Fred Neil (The Dolphins) and old time country (Silver Threads and Golden Needles, which she would pick up again in the early Seventies).

silkFor Silk Purse (in that bizarre cover) she relocated to Nashville, worked with some top session players (Pete Wade, Charlie McCoy, Kenny Buttrey) and delivered an album which is clearly more country -- but with a twist: she brings her powerful voice and slightly brusque quality to the material and it has real kick.

But even here she was drawing in songs from not quite straight Nashville sources, such as He Darked the Sun By Gene Clark and Bernie Leadon of the Eagles, and the Goffin-King classic Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

By the time she passed through country rock and into a more pop style in the mid Eighties she wasn't unleashing her vocal power with quite the same frequency and although she has been dismissive of Silk PPurse (the cover!?) it is a fine album of nascent country-rock.

In fact while these may only appeal to those who preferred Ronstadt before the mid Seventies or in the past decade they are very welcome, if not quite classic, reissues.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Dr John and the Lower 911: City That Care Forgot (Shock)

Dr John and the Lower 911: City That Care Forgot (Shock)

The good Doctor's voice can be an acquired taste and there is no doubt he lost many loyalists when he went schmaltzy and kinda boring in the late 80s/early 90s. It was almost as if he had run his... > Read more

DYSE: Das Nation (Cargo)

DYSE: Das Nation (Cargo)

Don't believe the publicity material, let alone the hype. Right? The advance PR for this duo of guitar/drums/vocalists -- who play in New Zealand soon, see dates below -- bills them as a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER MARK ROSE continues his search for perfect food in Japan

GUEST WRITER MARK ROSE continues his search for perfect food in Japan

Situated in the basement of an office building in Tokyo's Ginza district, the critically-acclaimed restaurant Sushi Mizutani is a nine-seat sushi bar – a very simple room without fuss. The... > Read more

Stuffed Paw-Paw, Norfolk Island style

Stuffed Paw-Paw, Norfolk Island style

Norfolk Island, just a 90 minute flight north west of Auckland, isn't a place you go for fine dining. Or so I was told. But if you are there Dino's and Garrison on the main street are excellent,... > Read more