Amour, on Stony Plain Records, is a CD teaming the roots music guitar talents of Colin Linden and Luther Dickinson. The CD was produced by Colin Linden, recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, and features a backing band dubbed “The Tennessee Valentines:” Dominic Davis – bass; Bryan Owings – drums; Fats Kaplin – violin and accordion; and Kevin McKendree – keyboards.
Amour is the first collaboration between Colin Linden (Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, ABC-TV show Nashville) and Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes) and consists of classic love songs from the Americana world.
Linden and Dickinson recruited a host of Nashville talent as guest vocalists on the new disc, including the legendary Billy Swan, who sings lead on “Lover Please” (a song he wrote, which was recorded and became a classic hit for Clyde McPhatter); as well as songbirds Rachael Davis and Ruby Amanfu; plus two of Linden’s Nashville TV series buddies – Sam Palladio (“Crazy Arms”) and Jonathan Jackson (“I Forgot to Remember to Forget”).
Both Linden and Dickinson are true veterans of roots music, having played with and produced some of the biggest names in the business, while displaying the mantle of countless awards and accolades to reflect that.
“These are songs of sentimental, romantic love,” says Colin Linden about the music on the new disc. “They come from country (“Crazy Arms”), blues (“Honest I Do”), rock ‘n’ roll (“Lover Please”), rhythm and blues (“What Am I Living For”) and folk music (“Careless Love”). I think that is a pretty good read on what Americana really is. ‘Careless Love’ is the ‘id’ of the record—a traditional song of love, longing and regret. I view the entire album as a soundtrack for romance and romantics everywhere, bound together by melody and atmosphere.”
“Most of these songs I have known my whole life, and they reached me in the same way,” says Colin Linden about the album’s origin. “I mentioned the idea of recording them as a collection to my friend Luther Dickinson, who said it was a good idea—and that it would be cool to work on it together. Luther is not only a master musician, but also an artist with a great vision and a soulful, wonderful human being.”
“Colin and I are fellow guitar-slinging, peace-loving, freedom-fighting romantics who jump at any and every opportunity to play guitars together,” adds Luther Dickinson. “Our only problem is not erupting into joyous laughter as the music unfolds. In the spirit of brotherly love and old-school ancient sonic explorations, Colin and I both plugged into a shared guitar amp that you can hear in the middle. Our individual amps are spread out, and though you can hear the different guitars popping thru here and there, it’s hard to tell who is playing what, and that only adds to Colin and my Amour fest.”
“As time and fate would have it, all of the mighty folks who joined us were also moved by these songs,” explains Linden. Blessed by one of our heroes—and the composer of one of these songs—Billy Swan, we felt like we were on the right road in doing this album. It was a band of angels we were joined by; Luther suggested we call it ‘The Tennessee Valentines,’ based on the beautiful song and these glorious spirits. But the real story is the love story in the songs.”
Amour is Linden’s second album for the label since Stony Plain re-signed the nine-time Juno Award-winning singer/guitarist in 2015 and released his acclaimed Rich in Love CD that same year. Stony Plain was also the home of Colin’s first studio album, The Immortals, in 1986.