We Still Love Our Country
Austin, Texas-based Carrie Rodriguez hooks up comfortably here with indie kindred spirit Ben Kyle in a loose tribute to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, the founders of what became Americana/alt-country—the rootsy, left-field sub-genre that honors country’s legacy and its notable songsmiths (traditional and otherwise).
Reprising Parsons’ take on “You’re Still on My Mind” (from The Byrds’ landmark Sweetheart of the Rodeo album), the two pare the track down to its basics and find its emotional core, treating it simply as a song rather than saying, “Hey, check out this really hip old country song.” This blend of respect and unself-consciousness is the biggest contribution the duo makes to songs better known elsewhere in definitive versions. We Still Love Our Country effectively nods to the endurance of well-crafted songs and traces a rough historical arc for a younger generation. At only eight songs (two of them self-penned), it sounds incomplete, but seeing as how this story can never be finished, it’s a good enough place to begin.