Review: Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez "The New Bye & Bye: The Best Of The Train Wreck Years 2002-2007"

Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez are one of the top 10 country duos of all time. When the partnership amiably disbanded, no one expected the two to ever record new music, but Taylor called Rodriguez about releasing a greatest hits record, and the pair decided to record four new songs for the album "The New Bye & Bye: The Best Of The Train Wreck Years 2002-2007."
"Your Name Is On My Lips" is an especially fitting title for the first new song on the disbanded duo's album. On the cut, they both sing: "It is a good thing." They're only half right, because the song is better than good - it's great. Taylor's understated vocals are heartfelt, and Rodriguez has never sounded better. As usual, the instrumentation on the track is near perfect.

The tender "On An Island" showcases the restrained musicianship of two master musicians. Another new song, "Play It Again Sam," offers powerful insight into human emotion and love. The lyrics pierce the soul, and, at times, Taylor sings at a level only slightly above a whisper. But it works on all levels.

The title track "The New Bye & Bye" is bold Americana gold with a tinge of gospel flavor. The cut highlights the best elements of the Taylor-Rodriguez musical partnership, and it will only serve to make listeners long for future collaborations.

The other tracks on the album feature the greatest songs of Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez, and it starts with the upbeat "Sweet Tequila Blues." "All The Rain" and "Let's Leave This Town" also have much of the same charm. As expected, every song was chosen with care, and there is not a questionable selection in the bunch - quite the contrary. However, the live version of "Angel Of The Morning," which was written by Taylor, deserves special mention and is one of the best live recordings of the year. It is followed by a joyous rendition of Taylor's famous song, "Wild Thing."

"The New Bye & Bye" from Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez is a stunning musical masterpiece that deserves to be savored and enjoyed like a perfectly aged scotch whiskey. In country music, that's as big of a compliment as you can get.