Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lovin' Louvin

this is what I had to say in Cleveland Scene magazine about Charlie Louvin's upcoming show there:
Charlie Louvin

What do you call a musician who has back-to-back Grammy nominations, released two records last year and goes from Beachland opening act to headliner in a matter of months? A hot up-and-coming star? Well, it's actually octogenarian Charlie Louvin. But this living legend has been living it up the last of couple years. For his Grammy-nominated 2007 self-titled disc, he enlisted the likes of George Jones, Elvis Costello and Jeff Tweedy. Last year, he turned out the stark Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs, as well as the stirring gospel-filled Steps To Heaven (which earned another Grammy nom). Louvin's career dates back to the 1940s when he started performing with his brother Ira. The Louvin Brothers were among country music's top brother acts during the late '50s and early '60s. Following Ira's death in 1965, Charlie soldiered on and is now experiencing a career resurgence. On recent albums, Louvin sings about damnation and redemption in a worldly wise voice that might not be a strong as it once was, but it's still stirring and inspiring. Not many performers make vital music in their 80s, but Louvin has always been a rare breed. JP & the Chatfield Boys open at 8 p.m. at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124). Tickets: $15. - Michael Berick

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