Homespun – Amy Gallatin & Roger Williams

As their first joint recording since 2008’s Something ‘Bout You, Homespun could be considered a reunion of sorts for two artists that can claim each substantial credits all on their own. Vocalist Amy Gallatin has been a staple of the acoustic music scene since making her recorded debut in 1998, while Roger Williams is a renowned resophonic guitarist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. Consequently, any opportunity that finds the two sharing a studio would seem to be an auspicious occasion.

Homespun, however, offers a nod to nostalgia in other ways as well. It’s more than simply a series of cover songs. Rather, it’s a fond look back at some distinguished musical forebears, specifically, songs once sung by Gallatin’s grandmother and Williams’ mom. It takes in a wide range of iconic influences as well, including songs made famous by Hank Thompson, Carl Jackson, Carl Smith, The Louvin Brothers, Webb Pierce, George Jones, Lorrie Morgan, and Keith Whitley. The only track that offers a contemporary reference is Kacey Chambers’ and Shane Nicholson’s Sweetest Waste of Time, but that song fits the tuneful template just as well. Backed by an erstwhile ensemble — JD Williams on mandolin, fiddler Ray Legre, Dave Dick on banjo and guitar, bassist Bob Dick, and pedal steel player Jim Hoke, Gallatin and Williams stay true to tradition while still managing to retain their contemporary credibility.

Of course, classic country is a revered genre in itself, and the duo do it justice courtesy of these reverential reads. That doesn’t mean that there’s no joy or jubilation added to the mix; to the contrary, album opener Won’t You Ride in My Little Red Wagon, is as exuberant as it is expressive, striking a note of eager affability that resonates throughout the record. So too, the jaunty Sweetest Waste of Time offers a decided touch of tongue planted firmly in cheek. That said, the tone also tends to be mournful in its lament of lost love and a series of romantic regrets that continue to linger long after those futile feelings fade away. The yearning and remorse that accompany For Love’s Sake, I Wish It Had Been A Dream, and That’s All It Took, emphasize the sadder sentiments that naturally accompany disappointment and despair.

Ultimately, Homespun is all the title implies, an unpretentious homage to an earlier era. Given their dedication and delivery, Gallatin & Williams easily tether credibility to conviction. 

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About the Author

Lee Zimmerman

Lee Zimmerman has been a writer and reviewer for the better part of the past 20 years. He writes for the following publications — No Depression, Goldmine, Country Standard TIme, Paste, Relix, Lincoln Center Spotlight, Fader, and Glide. A lifelong music obsessive and avid collector, he firmly believes that music provides the soundtrack for our lives and his reverence for the artists, performers and creative mind that go into creating their craft spurs his inspiration and motivation for every word hie writes.