Kurt Vile: Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep) (Matador) Review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep)


Oct 07, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

For those that have followed Kurt Vile for any length of time, it’s well known that Vile was no Johnny-come-lately to the John Prine bandwagon. They shared the stage several times before the devastating loss of Prine earlier this year. And this Prine inspired tribute EP has roots going back to 2016. Most of the songs here were recorded that year at The Butcher Shoppe studio that was founded by Prine and David “Ferg” Ferguson. Prine was not on hand for the initial sessions that included a cover of his “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness,” but does appear here for the latest recorded track, “How Lucky”.

Vile’s take on “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” is faithfully played, but given the style of the session players typically on hand at the studio, it grafts on some Johnny Cash-inspired slap back rhythms and echo chamber reverb. Of the two Vile originals, the six-minute “Dandelions” is as softly fuzzed as the flower itself and makes for a prototypically fine moment. The closing “Pearls” rocks a bit harder as it progresses, and feels like a nod to Prine’s own hallmark show-stopper when he and his band would give The Carter Family’s “Bear Creek Blues” all the bluegrass finesse they had.

But the EP’s finest moments are also its briefest. Vile salvages the charming “Cowboy” Jack Clement penned “Gone Girl” from its horrific late-’70s production. Originally sung by Cash, Vile’s earnest take is both goofy and endearingly warm. If you caught the Prine Picture Show tribute earlier this year, Vile’s take on “Crazy as a Loon” would have slotted in here well. Of course the duet with Prine on his 1979 deep cut, “How Lucky,” is the standout. Originally appearing on Prine’s Pink Cadillac album, the song of selective or slipping memory (depending on what suits your purpose) fits both musicians’ personas particularly well. Though not recorded with this intention, the subject of Vile’s “Dandelion” best serves Prine’s memory. The flower may have faded, but those seeds will be floating out there on the breeze forever. (www.kurtvile.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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