Personnel: Jimmie Dale Gilmore (acoustic guitar); Joe Ely (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion); Robbie Gjersoe (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, lap steel guitar, baritone guitar); Chris Searles (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Jim Wilson.
Recording information: Spur Studios.
Photographer: Keith Carter.
Arranger: Joe Ely.
Though Jimmie Dale Gilmore has been a major force in progressive country ever since his work with the Flatlanders in the 1970s, he'd never have been as convincing a neo-country crooner if he didn't have strong roots. COME ON BACK is the sound of Gilmore fully exploring those roots. While his previous solo albums were full of new material written by Gilmore himself or by Flatlander pal Butch Hancock, this one finds the Texan troubadour singing stone country classics from the golden age of honky-tonk.
Gilmore stretches his tremulous, high lonesome warble across Ray Price-style shuffles ("Pick Me Up on Your Way Down"), Hank Williams plaints ("I'll Never Get Out of this World Alive"), hardcore Ernest Tubb honky-tonk ("Walking the Floor Over You"), and buoyant Hank Snow boogie ("I'm Movin' On"). Old-school country fans will be intimately familiar with many of these songs, but Gilmore's faint air of otherworldliness adds a new shading to these evergreen tunes.
Entertainment Weekly (No. 834, p.145) - "...Gilmore's remakes of classic songs (via Johnny Cash, Hank Williams) are as singular as the originals." - Grade: B+
Dirty Linen (p.87) - "[W]ell-worn favorites, a looking back in tribute to his father and a looking forward, in a sense, to what may be learned from the crafters of these three-minute movies in music."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]hese 13 songs are almost the Greatest Hits of 1947 as well as a loving look at the back pages of what we now call Americana."