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You Don’t Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold by Various Artists

Grade: B

True story: Country Music Hall of Famer Eddy Arnold charted 147 songs in his seven-decade musical career. That’s more than just about anyone else.

And yet, your average Taylor or Luke fan probably knows nothing about him. So in honor of what would have been Eddy’s 95th birthday, his grandson Shannon Pollard has teamed with historian Don Cusic and punk legend Cheetah Chrome to release the tribute collection You Don’t Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold in hopes of taking Eddy’s music to a new audience. 

The diverse guest list includes Americana favorite Mary Gauthier, who turns in an engaging “You Don’t Know Me,” and songwriter Jason Isbell, who gives a standout performance with “Johnny Reb, That’s Me.”

Melinda Doolittle’s take on “Bouquet of Roses” adds some grit, and Jason Ringenberg brings his greasy cowpunk swagger to “Texarkana Baby.”

There are 19 tracks, so it’s not all perfect. Like model (and Liv Tyler mom) Bebe Buell’s growly version of “I’ll Hold You in My Heart,” which isn’t memorable past the curiosity factor. Or New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain’s “That Do Make It Nice,” which suffers from his weak singing voice.

Nonetheless, You Don’t Know Me assembles an impressive range of artists, and any disc that features both Mandy Barnett and Pixies leader Frank Black is worth a spin. 

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