Saturday, May 18, 2013

Kentucky Songs: The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore

Our final tribute to Kentucky comes in the form of a song written by Jean Ritchie and one that I had featured two and half years ago by Kathy Mattea, “The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore.” I lamented in 2011 that Michelle Shocked’s version of the tune was not online; however, as I recently checked, it now is.

The song takes place in the county seat of Perry County, Kentucky – Hazard and the demise of the coal industry which was signified by the lack of local service by the L&N (Louisville & Nashville) Railroad in the community and by the rusting unused coal cars lined up on the tracks.

From Michelle Shocked’s 1988 LP “Short Sharp Shocked,” I became aware of her version from a cassette that Mercury Records sent me. Playing it in my car, I grew to love her version of “The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore.” I think it was primarily based on the Dobro® work by Al Perkins. The sparse recording features her guitar and vocal, frailing banjo by Banjo Jim Croce, and Perkins’ Dobro® as the lead instrument.

Although not released as the album’s two single releases, it became my favorite cut on the cassette. It also became my favorite version of the tune. I hope you like it too.

No comments:

Post a Comment