Houston Chronicle, May 31, 2009

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Secret, Profane & Sugarcane

Elvis Costello

David Wiegand

Put Elvis Costello together with Jim Lauderdale on vocal harmony, add Emmylou Harris on "The Crooked Line" and put T Bone Burnett in the control room and you get not only an instant classic, but also the kind of perfection that earns Secret, Profane & Sugarcane a spot right next to Almost Blue on the overstocked shelf of Costello's greatest CDs. In many ways, this is a CD born on the stages of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, where Costello, Lauderdale and Harris are annual regulars. The album's 13 cuts, each one jaw-droppingly better than the last, include two songs written for Johnny Cash, "Complicated Shadows" and "Hidden Shame"; the haunting country waltz "She Handed Me A Mirror" and "I Felt the Chill," co-written with Loretta Lynn; and the finger-snappin' ambler "Sulphur to Sugarcane," written by Costello and Burnett. The backup band includes Jerry Douglas on dobro, Stuart Duncan on fiddle and banjo, Mike Compton on mandolin, Dennis Crouch on bass and Jeff Taylor on accordion. You can't invite better company than that to your party.

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Houston Chronicle, May 31, 2009


David Wiegand reviews Secret, Profane & Sugarcane.

Images

2009-05-31 photo jom 01.jpg
Photo by James O'Mara

Secret Profane & Sugarcane album cover.jpg

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