MP3MUSIC

A global archive of independent reviews of everything happening from the beginning of the millennium


Read our Copyright Notice click here

For publication dates click here





STARS FELL ON ALABAMA


Reviewed by ANDRE BEAUMONT


The artificial intelligence of YouTube and Spotify seems to know what I have been writing about here and feed me related videos and tracks, within minutes in the former case.


YouTube directly targets what you want to see whilst Spotify tries to lead you astray by extending the range of music you listen to, or so it seems.

I listen to a fair amount of classic country music so it was no surprise to find Tara Nevins' folk-rock Stars Fell on Alabama in Spotify's feed of music that keeps on trying to push you out of a genre.

Except I liked this one a lot and came back to it.

Then I twigged - Stars Fell on Alabama is the jazz standard from 1934 and has been recorded by numerous artists.

Tara Nevins' fiddle playing and vocal delivery makes her version almost threatening rather than the sugary, romantic sound of some other recordings and I like that - it acquires some of the grittiness and realism of country music. The timbre of her voice in this song and the pace helps this along.

Exploring a little I found that Tara Nevins is known only for this track on this side of the pond - she is a performer at, and organizer of, American festivals.


For Stars Fell on Alabama there is the atmospheric 1934 Jack Teagarden/Benny Goodman version.

There is the Renee Olstead solo and the Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong duet.

Instrumental only versions include those by Harry Connick, Jr, Stan Getz, Toots Thielemans and John Coltrane.

Tara Nevins' track is a real innovation and a worthy addition to the canon of interpretations of this song. Like Janis Joplin's Summertime the emotions conjured are different from those intended by the original songwriter.

I would take her version ahead of the Vera Lynn and Frank Sinatra ones, for all their relative polish.