Charlie Louvin To Unveil Two New Recs


One album of gospel music, another of murder ballads.

By Blurt Staff


In 2007, Charlie Louvin’s
self-titled album on the Tompkins
Square label received a Grammy nomination for Best
Traditional Folk Album — a bonafide comeback for a musical legend (he was
one-half of the Louvin Brothers, of course) and one of the more startling music
news stories from that year. He followed that up with an equally startling
touring regimen, plus a live album, Live
at Shake It Records.
Now Louvin has not one but two new studio albums due
before the year is out.



Steps to Heaven, due from Tompkins
Square on September 16,, features ten
traditional gospel classics including two Louvin Brothers songs. The release
will be followed by Charlie Louvin Sings
Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs
, out December 9. Both albums were
produced, recorded and mixed by Mark Nevers (Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Andrew
Bird, Bobby Bare Sr.)



details, courtesy Louvin’s label:



of hanging back at age 80, Charlie has instead chosen to challenge himself. Steps to Heaven was recorded live with a
gospel choir comprised of three sisters, journeyman gospel pianist Derrick Lee,
and Chris Scruggs adding doghouse bass and electric guitar. Louvin had never
recorded with black gospel musicians before, and in doing so discovered a new
musical path. “I did things on the gospel record I had no idea I could do.
I’d be thinking along the way, ‘How can I do things I’ve never done before?’ And
I did it.”


some might be surprised at a thematic Charlie Louvin album dealing with death
and destruction, one needn’t look any further than the very first Louvin
Brothers album to find a connection. Tragic
Songs of Life
, released in 1956, is full of emotional songs detailing
heartbreak, betrayal, violence and loss. Inspired by Tompkins Square’s recent Grammy-nominated
3CD box set People Take Warning! Murder
Ballads & Disaster Songs, 1913-1938,
Charlie reached back for a couple
of songs from that first Louvins album, and pulled nine songs from the box set
to create a moving and sometimes raucous new take on traditional songs of


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