Most everything here does Holly proud: Joe Ely and Todd Snider’s climbing-the-walls-horny “Oh Boy!”, Nanci Griffith’s “Well …All Right”, The Band’s “Not Fade Away” (those last two featuring the Crickets), as well as less successful but still-worth-hearing Holly covers from the Tractors, Mary Chapin Carpenter, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the Hollies (who play and sing over Holly’s original vocal for “Peggy Sue got Married”). But the best of the bunch has to be Waylon Jennings and Mark Knopfler’s version of “Learning the Game”, one of the last songs Holly ever put to tape. The song ruefully, painfully, expresses the near-inevitability of lost love with little more than just Knopfler’s finest solo in a decade and Jennings’ worldly-wise voice.
Closing the tribute, Jennings’ performance makes perfect sense. He was supposed to be on that plane the day the music died (he gave up his seat to the Big Bopper, legend has it), but he wasn’t. As a result, he was able to continue Holly’s rock-and-country outlaw tradition and, by extension, help pave the way for many of today’s alternacountry rebels.
Nothing here twitches with the manic, coiled-spring energy of Holly’s originals, but every cut rocks with at least a bit of twang. More than anything, Not Fade Away reminds that Holly, who began his career recording some fine C&W sides with Owen Bradley, understood the No Depression concept three decades before it even had a name.
by David Cantwell
Musicians - Tracks
1. Buddy Holly with The Hollies - Peggy Sue Got Married - 3:52
2. The Mavericks - True Love Ways - 3:07
3. Nanci Griffith with The Crickets - Well...All Right - 2:15
4. Los Lobos - Midnight Shift - 2:55
5. Band, The with The Crickets - Not Fade Away - 3:25
6. The Tractors - Think It Over - 2:58
7. Mary Chapin Carpenter with Kevin Montgomery - Wishing - 3:26
8. Joe Ely with Todd Snider - Oh Boy! - 2:46
9. Marty Stuart with Steve Earle - Crying, Waiting, Hoping - 3:51
10.Suzy Bogguss with Dave Edmunds - It Doesn't Matter Anymore - 2:26
11.Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Mayby Baby - 2:47
12.Waylon Jennings with Mark Knopfler - Learning The Game - 3:06
[ Thank you MIF for sending this post]