(MCA Nashville) With this record, Vince Gill and Paul Franklin have taken their admiration for Ray Price to the next level, with one of the finest true-country tributes of all time," states country music icon Bill Anderson in the liner notes for Sweet Memories: The Music of Ray Price & The Cherokee Cowboys.
Now, 10 years after the release of Bakersfield, their ringing homage to the music created by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard and their bands, Gill and steel guitar wizard Franklin are back in the re-discovery lane with Sweet Memories: The Music of Ray Price & The Cherokee Cowboys, now available everywhere.
"It's a kind of magic when (Vince) Gill and (Paul) Franklin apply their talents to the great American country music songbook," states Cowboys & Indians. "Paul and I are in no way trying to say we can make these records better than the original," Gill stresses. "I don't think any of these songs sound comparable to the original. Paul didn't play the same solos. Part of the reasoning behind this record was to feature not only Paul as a steel guitarist but me as a vocalist," he adds.
"I think Vince's singing on this album is maybe his Mount Everest of performances," Franklin says. "I'm excited this music is getting out there and in a way that we feel brings new life and new ideas to it.
What we hope to do is introduce it to a new generation of fans and musicians that might not take the time to look back into the '50s and '60s. If you have great songs and you interpret them through improvisations, you're going to get something good. And that was our mission," Franklin adds.
The entire album contains material that might be surprising to even the most die-hard of Price's fans. "We started looking through the sheer volume of Ray's music," Franklin explains. "We looked for obscure songs, ones even Ray's fans might not know as well." As No Depression noted, "Sweet Memories is a labor of love, introducing Price and his music to a new generation."
Gill and Franklin discuss the making of Sweet Memories: The Music of Ray Price & The Cherokee Cowboys in a series of YouTube videos on Gill's channel.
Last night, Gill and Franklin previewed a few selections from the project, for the first time live on the Grand Ole Opry, performing "Kissing Your Picture (Is So Cold)," "You Wouldn't Know Love," "Danny Boy," and "Your Old Love Letters." The performance will air on Circle All Access TV on August 12.
The album is now available on all streaming services. It is also available on limited edition autographed milky clear vinyl, as well as special exclusive autographed box sets that include the CD, an autographed art card, and a limited edition T-Shirt on Gill's website.
There is also a special exclusive tan vinyl that is only available at all Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores