Saturday, July 24, 2021

Pure Prairie League - If The Shoe Fits / Just Fly / Dance (1976/78 us, fine southern country soft rock, 2013 double disc remaster)

On 1976's "IF THE SHOE FITS" features the same PPL line-up, though this time the band members co-wrote much of the material with each other, giving the whole album a more cohesive vibe.  However, that’s not apparent from the opening revival of the Crickets’ That’ll Be The Day, which sounds at odds with the rest of the album—despite it being a rather good rendition. That is the only outside song, though Sun Shone Brightly was penned by Tim Goshorn, younger brother of Larry, who was to join the band a year after the album was recorded. 

DANCE maintained the same soundscape, driven by some infectious tunes like the opening title song that features horns and the loping Catfishin’ with some inspired Dobro work. The gentle, harmony-inflected In The Morning is a particular long-time favourite of mine with guest Andy Stein’s fiddle up-front and prominent. This collection closes with JUST FLY, from 1978, which was to be PPL’s penultimate RCA album. On this one steelie JD Call had been replaced by Tim Goshorn and the lack of steel, Dobro and banjo was most noticeable, and for me ranks as possibly their weakest RCA album. Despite that, there are some enjoyable moments to savour such as the acoustic-styled Slim Pickin’s and the easy-listening vibe of You Don’t Have To Be Alone. There’s also a revival of Lee Dorsey’s Working In The Coal Mine, which doesn’t work at all.

Pure Prairie League moved on in 1980 to Casablanca Records and with various personnel changes have continued to tour and occasionally record right through to today. In 1985 Craig Fuller rejoined and he has remained very much the lynchpin of PPL with their most recent recording being 2005’s ALL IN GOOD TIME. A long overdue look back at this underrated band, and overall an impressive and enjoyable listening experience.
by Alan Cackett
Disc 1 " If The Shoe Fits" 1976
1. That'll Be The Day (Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, Norman Petty) - 2:10
2. I Can Only Think Of You (Larry Goshorn, Mike Reilly) - 2:36
3. Sun Shone Lightly (Tim Goshorn) - 4:01
4. Long Cold Winter (George Ed Powell, Larry Goshorn, Mike Reilly) - 3:18
5. Lucille Crawfield (George Ed Powell) - 4:04
6. Gimme Another Chance (Larry Goshorn) - 3:40
7. Aren't You Mine (George Ed Powell, William Frank Hinds) - 3:45
8. You Are So Near To Me (George Ed Powell) - 4:33
9. Out On The Street (Larry Goshorn) - 3:10
10.Going Home (Larry Goshorn) - 3:27
"Just Fly" 1978
11.Place In The Middle (Larry Goshorn, Patsy Scanlan, Tim Goshorn) - 3:44
12.Slim Pickin's (George Ed Powell) - 3:09
13.Love Will Grow (Tim Goshorn) - 3:00
14.You Don't Have To Be Alone (Larry Goshorn, Mike Reilly) - 3:36
15. Love Is Falling (Tim Goshorn) - 3:07
16.Just Fly (Tim Goshorn) - 3:59
17.Lifetime (Larry Goshorn) - 2:39
18.Working In The Coal Mine (Allen Toussaint) - 3:29
19.My Young Girl (George Ed Powell) - 3:12
20.Bad Dream (Billy Hinds, Mike Reilly, Tim Goshorn) - 4:02
Disc 2 "Dance" 1976
1. Dance (George Ed Powell) - 3:20
2. In The Morning (Larry Goshorn, Tim Goshorn) - 3:00
3. All The Way (Mike Reilly, D. Loe, R. Perry) - 3:40
4. Livin' Each Day At A Time (Larry Goshorn) - 2:47
5. Fade Away (Mike Reilly, Larry Goshorn) - 4:09
6. Tornado Warning (George Ed Powell) - 3:16
7. Catfishin' (Larry Goshorn) - 2:19
8. Help Yourself (Mike Reilly, Larry Goshorn) - 3:32
9. San Antonio (George Ed Powell) - 3:24
10.All The Lonesome Cowboys (Tim Goshorn) - 5:00

Pure Prairie League
*George Powell - Guitar, Vocals, Vocals
*Larry Goshorn - Guitar, Vocals
*Michael Reilly - Bass, Vocals
*Billy Hinds - Drums
*Michael Connor - Keyboards
*John David Call - Banjo, Dobro, Steel Guitar, Vocals ("If The Shoe Fits", "Dance")
*Tim Goshorn - Guitar, Vocals ("Just Fly")
*Prairie Dog Choir - Vocals ("Dance")
*Charles Veal Jr. - Violin ("Dance")

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