Teddy Thompson and Jenni Muldaur “Teddy & Jenni do George & Tammy: A Tribute to the Duets of George Jones and Tammy Wynette”

Fallout Shelter Records, 2021

A couple of EPs honouring country couples by a couple of children born of famous couples!

Teddy Thompson and Jenni Muldaur. Both children of famous folk duos and both accomplished musicians in their own right are now amplifying the past with a set of duets by famous country duos.

Teddy is, of course, Richard and Linda’s Thompson’s son, who, as a solo artist, has produced 6 solo albums and a duet with Kelly Jones. While Jenni, from the other side of the pond, is folk royalty Maria and Geoff Muldaur’s daughter who produced ‘Dearest Darling’ in 2018.

This EP is not their first tribute to great country duets as “Teddy & Jenni Do Porter & Dolly: A Tribute to the Duets of Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton.” came out earlier this year. The final installment, a tribute to Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, is in the planning stages. The EPs are all produced by David Mansfield, a legend in the business in his own right as an incredible musician, and recorded at his studio Fallout Shelter Records. Mansfield plays the pedal steel on all tracks.

The EP opens with ‘Golden Ring’, which follows couples via a ring from start to end and back to the pawnshop. Jones and Wynette sang this on television after they broke up when the record company realised they made lots more money together than apart. It was a legendarily awkward moment on the screen as it was so personal. This cover is note-perfect and an excellent attention grabber and starts with the reminder that the couple was not happy.

It is followed by ‘It’s So Sweet’, one of the most syrupy love songs ever—a perfect counterpoint to the opener. Once again, a cover so similar to the original one can hardly tell the two apart when heard back to back.

Take Me’ is the third track, a duet in which the male and female sing alternate verses about how the other one is the only thing they need is increasingly silly and exaggerated survival scenarios. The song really does showcase exactly how unhealthy and codependent Jones and Wynette’s relationship was. Muldaur and Thompson’s rendition is once again spot-on.

Lastly, Thompson and Muldaur cover ‘We’re Gonna Hold On’. It was a song that was possibly chosen as a ray of hope through these times and a reminder that there is life after any big change, be it pandemic or relationship upheaval.

Overall, the EP showcases exceptional talent and old classic songs by a truly iconic country couple. The EP series feels like two grown-up children coming to terms with their own famous parents and expressing it through the words of other iconic couples who had troubled relationships. Presumably, they are not in a troubled relationship and hopefully will continue to collaborate for many years. Ultimately this EP of covers does not offer anything above and beyond the originals musically. This may be merely cheap therapy, and marketing rolled into one and sold for nostalgia reasons, but who cares?

7/10
7/10

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