Cassandra Wilson: Red River Valley

Track

Red River Valley

Artist

Cassandra Wilson (vocals)

CD

Thunderbird (Blue Note 63398)

Buy Track

Musicians:

Cassandra Wilson (vocals), Colin Linden (electric slide guitar).

Traditional

.

Recorded: Hollywood, CA, 2005

Albumcovercassandrawilson-thunderbird

Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

When Hollywood's The Grapes of Wrath (1940) made "Red River Valley" the anthem of Dust Bowl Okies, moviegoers assumed the Red River referenced was that marking the Texas-Oklahoma border. Folklorists, however, lean towards North Dakota's Red River Valley as a more likely namesake. Whatever its source, the song's long sufferance as country-&-western fodder renders this track an epiphany. Backed by Colin Linden's solitary slide guitaróas stark and vast as the Great PlainsóCassandra Wilson transforms "Red River Valley" into a love song as hauntingly personal as Sheila Jordan's "You Are My Sunshine" with George Russell (1962). A triumphantly original reinterpretation.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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