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Pure Prairie League - Firin Up

  by Nicky Crewe

published: 31 / 5 / 2018

Pure Prairie League - Firin Up
Label: Floating World
Format: CD


Enjoyable reissue of Pure Prairie League’s 1980 album which will remind fans of just how great they were and hopefully will motivate a new audience into appreciating how influential their music continues to be

Back in the early 1970s I was a great fan of American bands like Pure Prairie League, McKendree Spring and Poco. Then the Eagles came along and seemed to sweep them all away as their reputation and sales soared higher and higher. Nowadays, when we talk of Americana music, the artists described tend to be solo singer-songwriters or husband-and-wife duos, exploring dark subjects for their songs of love, loss and revenge. Back in the day, there was another style of Americana that owed a lot to country rock and bluegrass and developed into a wide-open sound with close vocal harmonies and experimental instrumentation. It’s probably best described as Cosmic Cowboy Music. In 1978 Vince Gill was invited to join Pure Prairie League. Their line-up and record companies had changed since their early days, but the mood of the music hadn’t. They were signed to Casablanca Records, who were trying to break away from their disco reputation. Vince Gill brought his wonderful vocals and talent as a songwriter to the mix. This album, ‘Firin’Up’, was released in 1980 and was a great success in the States. The cover features Lucky Luke, a Norman Rockwell character, a down-at-heel cowboy. He isn’t firin’ up an engine as he sits by his campfire under a prairie moon. This is music to enjoy in a stoned haze. There are saxophone and synthesizer on the album, creating a sound that has a Boz Scaggs feel to it at times. There’s an upbeat musical mood in spite of the lyrics. ‘I’ll be Damned (If I Let You Break My Heart)’ is a different approach to the heartbreak of contemporary Americana music. Favourite tracks are ‘Too Many Heartaches in Paradise’, ‘You’re My True Love’, ‘Let Me Love You Tonight’ with its saxophone arrangement and the ballad ‘Janny Lou’. After a fantastic solo career Vince Gill now also tours as lead vocalist with the Eagles. The link between their music and Pure Prairie League should be recognised and acknowledged. Hopefully this re-release will remind music fans of their significance.

Track Listing:-
1 I'm Almost Ready
2 I'm Almost Ready
3 Too Many Heartaches In Paradise
4 She's All Mine
5 You're My True Love
6 Let Me Love You Tonight
7 I Can't Stop This Feelin'
8 Lifetime Of Nighttime
9 I'll Be Damned
10 Janny Lou

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Profile (2014)
Pure Prairie League - Profile
Carl Bookstein looks back on the career of Ohio-based country rock outfit Pure Prairie League, who have recently had several of their albums reissued on CD

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