Charlie Louvin / The Battle Rages On

The Battles Rage On

Charles Elzer Loudermilk (born July 7, 1927), known professionally as Charlie Louvin, is an American country music singer and songwriter. He is best known as one of the Louvin Brothers.

At age 83, Louvin has just released this, his 20th full length release!

The Analysis:

Smoke On The Water—-Louvin continues to deliver, in his weathered and remarkable voice, warnings of what the world will become if we do not all embrace the love of Jesus Christ….all the while set to a remarkable retro country delivery that calls to mind the very best of the past while still allowing room for Alternative Country listeners to still embrace…a remarkable man!!!

More Than A Name On The Wall—-Although this has a familiar Country wail to the music, this is truly accessible to Adult Contemporary listeners as well. The voice…weathered and real as anything you could ever ask for…has a charm and loneliness to it that you feel an urge to listen to over and over again…this is a remarkable man…the tales he manages to tell in just a few moments are a dying art…this is wonderful.

I Wonder If They Ever Think Of Me—-Louvin enters with this track, sounding remarkably clear and young. An ode to those who are locked up in prison and facing isolation and loneliness, Louvin manages to paint an amazing picture. He sings in an upper register that is so damn pleasant and addictive…I will be listening to this for a while!

There’s A Star Spangled Banner—-Returning to a more upbeat and crystal clear retro Country sound, this song manages to border a bit on bluegrass and brings a magical smile to my face. Louvin…steady in his patriotism and his love for America produces songs that lets you know how proud he is of his descent and his pleasure to have fought for his Country. This is great fun…and is perfect for the just passed Veterans Day.

Just Before The Battle Mother—-Gosh….I love this guy almost more than I love George Jones….who is perhaps my all time favorite. This is catchy as hell…delivered with a remarkably clear voice that does not come close to belaying this man’s age. The guitars have a slight Spanish flair to them…and the melody is Classic Country…few can touch this stuff…just amazing!!!

What We’re Fighting For—-This has an amazingly fresh sound to it…all the while the slide guitar reminds us that this is Classic Country. Louvin continues to serenade us and tell us magnificent stories in a few minutes…which is a pure form of Art. This sounds like this could have been written a tad bit of time ago, but it is again quite timely…full of patriotic references and reminders of why we are lucky yo be Americans!

Mother I Thank You For The Bible—-Louvin returns to his Bible-beating ways and delivers a classic track that only he can deliver! Charlie allows his age to shine through wonderfully well on this track as he bids his Mother goodbye as he leaves for war. This is tender and heartfelt…delivered with a true emotion that reminds you of the importance of religion, faith and belief while under pressure of life. This is fantastic!!!

A Soldier’s Last Letter—-Well, it seems like this entire release is full of those types of songs that are reflective of a soldier’s point of view. This song is so damn poingnant…this is as you would expect…a letter that is delivered with an added letter from the government…telling Mom that son has been killed in the war…the lonely fiddle only makes the message even more emotional..this is incredible!

Weapon Of Prayer—-Wow….this is pretty much my favorite on this release…just for the intermittent fiddle that allows the song to be much larger than I expected. Louvin is joined by another voice that is so steeped in Bluegrass that it is instantly contagious and remarkably accessible…you will listen to this over and over…this is damn fantastic!!!

Robe Of White—-Continuing in the stream of sad stories of boys who have gone off to war, this is remarkable just because the ability that Louvin has to tell a tale in just a few moments. There are some really nice harmonies on this song….the tale is even more heightened by those harmonies….this is sad…but magically full of pride and joy. This is incredible!

Searching For A Soldier’s Grave—-I guess the title of the song pretty much tells you about the content….this is pretty cut and dry. The harmonies that are on the song are incredible…I love the gentle delivery and the slight departure from the classic trademark Country sound…taking on a more exotic flair…all the while staying true to the Louvin sound. I love this guy!

Down By The Riverside—-Delivering the classic really Countrified version of this religious track, Louvin ends this release on a high note…allowing you to lift yourself from the slight sadness that this record leaves you with. Very nice!!!!

**** out of 5


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