Elvis Costello - Secret, Profane and Sugarcane CD Review (Hear Music) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Elvis Costello - Secret, Profane and Sugarcane CD Review (Hear Music)

Elvis Costello - Secret, Profane and Sugarcane CD ReviewThe 'King of America' is back! Elvis Costello returns with his first country album since 1986's King of America.

Secret, Profane & Sugarcane is a predominately acoustic affair that comes across as a cross between the Nashville country sounds of Almost Blue crossed with the introspective tales of love and heartache that first showed up on King of America.

Secret, Profane & Sugarcane was recorded over a three day period in Nashville with T-Bone Burnett, fiddler Stuart Duncan (who recently played with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on the "Raising Sand" tour, ), dobroist Jerry Douglas, mandolinist Mike Compton and double bassist Dennis Crouch. Grammy award winner Jim Lauderdale adds backup and harmony vocals to all of the tracks and he is joined by Emmylou Harris on backing vocals for "The Crooked Line".

The material seems to come from a mixed bag of sources. Four of the disc's thirteen tracks (“How Deep is the Red,” “She Was No Good,” “She Handed Me a Mirror” and “Red Cotton”) are from Costello's work-in-progress opera based on the life of Hans Christen Andersen which was commissioned back in 2005 by the Danish Royal Opera. Two of the tracks ("Complicated Shadows" and "Hidden Shame") originally appeared on All This Useless Beauty and "Hidden Shame" was covered by Johnny Cash on his 1989 release Boom Chickaa Boom. Following on his collaboration with Loretta Lynn on "Pardon Me, Madam, My Name is Eve", Costello and Lynn have co-written "I Felt The Chill" on this new release. The disc closes with "Changing Parters", a tune made popular by Bing Crosby in the 50's.

"So it was that the ideal song to close this album seemed to be, 'Changing Partners', a simple number that I learned from an old Bing Crosby recording. It is likely to be the last dance at all our upcoming appearances." -- Elvis Costello

Secret, Profane & Sugarcane isn't a redefinition of Elvis Costello's music but more of a return to form. He seems much more focused and engaged than on recent works and this disc entered the charts at #13 on the Billboard 200 (Elvis' highest chart position since 1980’s Get Happy).

Upcoming tour dates are:

8 August 2009, Summer Sonic Festival, Tokyo, Japan
9 August 2009, Summer Sonic Festival, Osaka, Japan
15 August 2009, Salt Lake City, Utah, Dear Valley Music Festival (Costello & Steve Nieve with the Utah Symphony)
17 August 2009, Saratoga, California, Mountain Winery
18 August 2009, Los Angeles, California, Greek Theatre
19 August 2009, Livermore, California, Wente Vineyards
21 August 2009, Santa Rosa, California, Wells Fargo Center
22 August 2009, Jacksonville, Oregon, Britt Pavilion
23 August 2009, Seattle, Washington, Chateau St. Michelle
24 August 2009, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Malkin Bowl
26 August 2009, Highland Park, Illinois, Ravinia Festival
27 August 2009, Kettering, Ohio, Fraze Pavillion
28 August 2009, Toronto, Ontario, Massey Hall
29 August 2009, Chatauqua, New York, Chautauqua Institute
1st September 2009, Austin, Texas, Long Center
2nd September 2009, Dallas, Texas, Nokia Theatre
3rd September 2009, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Cains Ballroom

Elvis Costello's Website