(Sugar Hill Records)
Long Line of Heartaches counts as Connie Smith's 53rd album, but her first since 1996. Produced by her husband Marty Stuart, these sessions transpired at RCA Studio B in Nashville where she recorded many of her early hits. She's been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1965, and she's earned many chart-toppers in her prestigious career. Long Line of Heartaches only strengthens her musical legacy.
Smith and Stuart wrote five songs for this album and cover tunes by Harlan Howard, Johnny Russell, Dallas Frazier, Patty Loveless and Bill Price. Smith's band The Sundowers provide a traditional country sound to Smith's powerful voice. The title track kicks off the album, and the listener is hooked right away.
On the emotive "I'm Not Blue" Smith's hypnotic voice sends one reeling along with the weeping pedal steel and low Telecaster twangs. "Pain of A Broken Heart" tells a well-known story of heartbreak with an upbeat country swing. "Ain't You Even Gonna Cry" stands as one of the most soulful numbers on this collection. This one will always sound good when the curtain falls.
In "A Heart Like You" Smith sings a message one cannot forget. "Anymore" conjures vocal memories of Patsy Cline. "That Makes Two of Us" opens with her singing "Are you lonely just like me?", and this tune opens wounds of the past. Gram Parsons would just love "You And Me" where Smith sings "I feel your icy un-concern as our bridge slowly burned..."
"My Part of Forever" takes the listener down a road where the singer rides into the wild blue yonder. The original composition, "Blue Heartaches", ranks as another jewel on this collection. The acoustic ballad "Take My Hand" ends the album with a prayer for strength in dark times. Long Line of Heartaches is good medicine for a bad heart...