Cass County

Cass County

by Don HenleyDon Henley


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Don Henley doesn't move fast because he can afford not to hurry. He can spend the better part of a decade waiting out a record contract, labor on a 90-minute Eagles reunion for maybe half a decade, then take another eight years before returning with Cass County, his first solo album in 15 years and only fifth overall. That's the mark of a man who takes his time, but all that chronology pales compared to the true journey Cass County represents: a return to Henley's country roots, whether they lie in the blissed-out, mellow sunshine of Southern California or the Texas home that provides this record with its name. According to prerelease scuttlebutt, the album began as a covers project -- on the deluxe edition, there are remnants of this record, including a poignant "She Sang Hymns Out of Tune" and a duet with Dolly Parton on the Louvin Brothers' "When I Stop Dreaming" -- and the album does begin with a version of Tift Merritt's "Bramble Rose" that finds space for both Mick Jagger and Miranda Lambert, a sign of the star firepower on Cass County. Plenty of other guests pop up here, including Merle Haggard and Martina McBride, although there's no doubting Henley is the center of Cass County, but the nice thing about the record is that he's not calling attention to himself, not in the way he did when he loaded up albums with somber six-minute anthems. For the first time in decades -- four, to be precise; One of These Nights was the last time he explicitly dabbled in country-rock -- Henley prefers to paint on a small canvas, abandoning sociological epics for tales of longing and heartbreak. He'll still adopt a cynical sneer -- "No, Thank You" is quintessential spiteful contrarianism, salvaged by a boogie borrowed from "Achy Breaky Heart" -- and the elegiac "Praying for Rain" disguises its environmental activist heart in the form of sun-bleached hippie country, but the shift to expertly constructed miniatures benefits Henley considerably, pushing the focus onto his skill as a craftsman while also suggesting how, in the age of bro-country, this kind of cosmic American music functions as a traditional throwback. This is also where Henley's stubbornness winds up as an asset: he doesn't feel like he's succumbing to either nostalgia or the present; he stoically carries on according to the way things ought to be, and, against all odds, he winds up with a record that's not only easier to enjoy than most of his solo records, but also stronger song for song than many of the early Eagles albums.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/25/2015
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0602537919017
catalogNumber: 002351202
Rank: 94407

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Don Henley   Primary Artist,Vocals
Jerry Douglas   Lap Steel Guitar
Alison Krauss   Vocal Harmony
Merle Haggard   Vocals
Dolly Parton   Vocals
Trisha Yearwood   Vocal Harmony
Mick Jagger   Harmonica,Vocals
Lucinda Williams   Vocal Harmony
Richard Davis   Organ,Cello,Keyboards
Martina McBride   Vocals
Gregg Bissonette   Drums
Richard Bowden   Electric Guitar
Pat Buchanan   Harmonica,Electric Guitar
Billy Chapin   Percussion
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar
Milo Deering   Fiddle,Pedal Steel Guitar
Dan Dugmore   Pedal Steel Guitar
Sally Dworsky   Vocal Harmony
Shannon Forrest   Percussion,Drums
Vince Gill   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Tony Harrell   Organ,Piano
Jim Hoke   Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar
Rob Ickes   Dobro
Gordon Kennedy   Electric Guitar
Stan Lynch   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar
Jerry McPherson   Electric Guitar
Greg Morrow   Percussion,Drums
Russ Pahl   Pedal Steel Guitar
David Piltch   Bass
Mike Rojas   Organ,Piano
Jimmie Lee Sloas   Bass
Steuart Smith   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar
Glenn Worf   Bass
Molly Felder   Vocal Harmony
Lee Ann Womack   Vocal Harmony
Jeff Babko   Pump Organ
Angela Primm   Vocal Harmony
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin
John Deaderick   Keyboards
Chris Holt   Guitar
Michelle Branch   Vocal Harmony
Matt Allen   Percussion
Marco Giovino   Percussion
Mike Rhodes   Bass
Aaron Kelley   Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Miranda Lambert   Vocals
David Moran   Hammered Dulcimer
Jamey Johnson   Vocal Harmony
Ashley Monroe   Vocal Harmony
Jimmy Johnson   Bass
Alex Hahn   Drums
Glen Worff   Bass
Gale Mayes   Vocal Harmony
Greg Worf   Bass
Will Henley   Drums

Technical Credits

Don Henley   Composer,Producer
Richard Davis   Engineer
Jeff Balding   Engineer
Billy Chapin   Engineer
Tim Kimsey   Engineer
Hank Linderman   Engineer
Ira Louvin   Composer
Charlie Louvin   Composer
Stan Lynch   Composer,Producer
Timothy B. Schmit   Composer
Steuart Smith   Composer
Jeri Heiden   Art Direction
Tift Merritt   Composer
Gordon Hammond   Engineer
Chris Bell   Engineer

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