The Imus Ranch Record II

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Radio personality Don Imus’ second collection benefiting the Imus Ranch, a charity getaway for children with cancer or serious blood disorders, has a rootsier sound than the mainstream country-leaning first collection, thanks to Jamey Johnson and country lesser-knowns Kinky Friedman, Levon Helm and Hayes Carll. As with its predecessor, Don handpicked artists for the album and, in some cases, their songs, resulting in five new recordings. Jamey turns Meat Loaf’s 1978 hit “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad” into a barroom-ready ballad, while Elizabeth Cook’s dovelike vocal on “You Move Too Fast” is reminiscent of Jewel. Hayes Carll’s craggy voice fits perfectly with the Roger Miller classic “King of the Road,” while Levon, who appeared on the first Imus Ranch Record, returns for a soulful take on Bob Dylan’s gritty “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.”

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