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Review: I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow

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Various Artists
I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow
Red Beet RBRCD 0014/CMF-027

At the risk of oversimplifying things, there are really only two general categories of children’s albums, at least if one eliminates albums by child prodigies and albums that deal with childhood or parenthood as themes. There are children’s albums that are enjoyed by children and tolerated by adults to one degree or another, and then there are children’s albums that can be appreciated, to quote the original Fox Hollow album’s subtitle, by “children of all ages.” Tom T. Hall’s original album of Fox Hollow songs turned out to be both enduring and endearing and produced a few #1 hits in 1974. Patty Griffin’s rendition of “I Love,” a song that closed the original album, leads off this wonderful new remake. “I Care,” a song about love and empathy that was another big hit, is sung this time around by Bobby Bare.

Other tracks include Buddy Miller singing “Sneaky Snake,” which is one of two tracks featuring the great Duane Eddy, Jim Lauderdale (“I Like to Feel Pretty Inside”), Elizabeth Cook and her husband Tim Carroll (“I Wish I Had a Million Friends”), “The Barn Dance” (Gary Bennett of BR549), “How to Talk to a Little Baby Goat” (Jon Byrd), and “Ole Lonesome George the Basset,” a Dixie Hall song about a real hound that upstaged Johnny Cash and which is sung here by Tommy Cash. Although the sequence of the tracks has been changed, all the original material is included, and an extra song has been added, “I Made a Friend of a Flower Today,” which is sung by Fayssoux Starling McLean and Tom T. Hall himself. The quartet of musicians providing the back-up includes pedal steel Hall of Famer Lloyd Green. Get it for a child and resist the temptation of keeping it for yourself.

—Paul-Emile Comeau (Comeauville, NS, Canada)

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