Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman

More Albums by Various Artists

Track Listing

1. Sail Away
2. Louisiana
3. Birmingham
4. Rider in the Rain
5. Marie
6. Rednecks
7. Burn On
8. Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)
9. Memo to My Son
10. Political Science
11. You Can Leave Your Hat On
12. Texas Girl at the Funeral of Her Father


Hailed by critics, loved and revered by songwriters and musicians, Randy Newman still polarizes the public. Maybe it's the voice, maybe it's the heavy irony (maybe it's "Short People"), but folks seem to either love him or hate him. Perhaps that's why Sugar Hill Records felt the need to dip into its pool of top-notch roots artists and put together Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman -- a compilation of not-so-goat-eyed interpretations of Newman's work. For those out there whose main beef with Newman is his voice, this collection just might provide enough talk-singing relief to get to the heart of what really makes the man such an important American songwriter -- his lyrics, and the simultaneously comfortable and daring nature of his compositions. Tim O'Brien's thoughtful take on "Sail Away," the Del McCoury Band's utterly correct version of "Birmingham," and Steve Earle's fantastic reading of the wryly empowering "Rednecks" are highlights. ~ J. Scott McClintock

Personnel: Ryan Miller (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Sonny Landreth, Tim O'Brien (vocals, guitar); Del McCoury, Willy Braun (vocals, acoustic guitar); Steve Earle (vocals, acoustic 12-string guitar, electric guitar); Cody Braun (vocals, banjo, fiddle); Joe Ely, Marc Broussard, Allison Moorer, Patrick Earle, Kim Richey, Jessica Havey, Mike Doster (vocals); Joe Stark (guitar); Jordan McConnell (acoustic guitar); David Abeyta (electric guitar); Jerry Douglas (slide guitar); Dan Dugmore, Lloyd Maines (steel guitar); Joe Pisapia (banjo, keyboards); Leonard Podolak, Rob McCoury, Scott Vestal, Béla Fleck (banjo); Sam Bush (mandola, mandolin); Ronnie McCoury (mandolin); Jason Carter , Stuart Duncan (fiddle); Steve Conn (accordion); Jeff Coffin, John Jackson (saxophone); David Egan (piano, Clavinet, organ); Viktor Krauss (upright bass); Calvin Turner (bass guitar, percussion); Kenny Malone, Jay Nazz, Chad Gilmore (drums, percussion); Jonathan Atkinson, Kenneth Blevins, Brian Rosenworcel (drums); Scott Senior (percussion); Billy Mowbray (programming).