While working in a music store back in 1997, I got ahold of a free copy of Whiskeytown’s second album, “Strangers Alamanac”. I knew nothing about the band, but the promotional blurbs sounded promising. I was an instant fan.
(Trivial note: Posters for the album can be seen in the background of Sunnydale High during the second season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.)
While awaiting the band’s next album, I searched some of their earlier work and waited. And waited. Anxiously.
During one of the large music distributor mergers (this one being Universal and Polygram), Whiskeytown’s third album was in a limbo similar to that of the Beatles’ “Let It Be”. It was apparently remixed at least one, and during the wait, the band broke up. (Lead singer Ryan Adams has had a decent solo career since then.)
This song is the penultimate track from that third album (“Pneumonia”). It’s a sad but comforting ballad with a beautiful dual lead vocal from Ryan Adams and fiddler Caitlin Cary. It segues wonderfully into the fadeout with Ryan’s wailing tenor answered by Caitlin’s smooth, soothing alto.
People with easy hearts often love pretty hard lives. This is their song.