Rough Rider/DAC Plus

Rough Rider/DAC Plus

by David Allan CoeDavid Allan Coe


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Bear Family continues its David Allan Coe reissue program with Rough Rider and D A C (Plus), two titles released at the bookends of 1982; both albums were produced by Billy Sherrill. From his liner notes to both recordings, it appears Coe was going through yet another series of marital troubles, which appear to have been channeled into solid songwriting and performing. Amidst personal and marital turmoil, Rough Rider features one bona fide classic in "Pouring Water on a Drowning Man." In addition "What Made You Change Your Mind," "Forever and Never," and "Time After Time," rank among the singer/songwriter's best self-penned material of the period. To balance matters, Coe's choice of covers on this set is also impressive. His performances of "Now I Lay Me Down to Cheat," and "Take Time to Know Her," are authoritative and emotionally taut. And his stellar, regret-laden readings of two Larry Murray tunes, "Headed for the Country" and "Meanwhile Back in Memphis" close the album on notes of acceptance and regret. D A C was written mostly on tour, and is divided into two categories -- remember: this was still the LP era -- the "Thinking Side" and the "Drinking Side." Coe wrote everything on the set and it's a stunner. Side one contains some of Coe's bitterest, most accusatory breakup songs including "Looking in the Mirror," "Lying Comes So Easy to Your Lips," and the deeply moving "The Last Time She'll Leave Me This Time." The flip has the punchy, Jimmy Buffett-influenced "She Loved the Leavin' Out of Me," and "Whiskey, Whiskey (Take My Mind)" -- which is actually dedicated to Buffett. But despite being classified as the "drinking side" there are wonderful love songs, too, including "I Gave Up (On Trying to Get Over You)." The "plus" in the Bear Family title of the album signifies the inclusion of an alternate take of "Free Born Ramblin' Man," from an earlier session not associated with either album. It's not essential given the dark and melancholy nature of these two albums, but for fans it's another reason to purchase the import CD (along with a fine package that includes original liner notes and lyrics, as well as vintage photos and great sound) -- since it's unlikely Legacy with be reissuing Coe's Columbia catalog any time soon, though they should. This is a truly welcome addition to the Coe shelf on CD.

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