the Buzz for September 27th, 2008


Conceived as a benefit project with one hundred percent of the proceeds supporting the charity — an honest-to-God four-thousand-acre farm area near Santa Fe, New Mexico which was conceived specifically to give cancer-stricken children something substantive on which to focus their energies and interests — named in the record’s title, The Imus Ranch Record finds a bevy of acclaimed country music stars wrapping their golden voices around tunes that were personally selected for them by the charity’s organizer, Mr. Don Imus, himself.  The lineup of talent is top-shelf — Vince Gill, Bekka Bramlett (Bonnie’s daughter, and still searching for her ticket to the big time), former Maverick Raul Malo, Dwight Yoakam, and my eternal hero John Hiatt, to name just a few — and the results are often fascinating (Patty Loveless presents a twangy take — one you gotta hear to believe — on Fleetwood Mac’s overlooked classic “Silver Springs,” WIllie Nelson offers a sweetly unique spin on the old R&B standard “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes,” and Lucinda Williams — whose latest album, Sweet Honey, is due October 14 — lays down a tender reading of Willie’s classic “Mammas, Don’t Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”).


Whatever you may think of Imus and his exploitative, self-aggrandizing stances, sometimes you gotta measure a man’s actions against his words.  The man has just displayed killer taste in music, and for as good and worthy a cause as this, that’s worth something.