In 1974 Tom T. Hall, American country balladeer, released an album called “Songs of Fox Hollow”. The songs had evolved from a summer spent with youngsters on his farm in Fox Hollow, Tennessee. Little stories and rhymes chronicling some of the mysteries and peculiarities of life as seen through a child’s eyes were set to music in an album that was to produce two number one country hits.
Fast forward to 2010 when Peter Cooper, Eric Brace and a stellar cast of musical friends spent a summer lovingly creating the album I love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow in time for its release to celebrate Tom’s 75th birthday.
Tales of wonder, fears and joys interlaced with Tom’s wisdom on how to live at one with nature are revisited in a variety of hues by such musical luminaries as Patty Griffin and Tommy Cash. Guitar legends Duane Eddy and Lloyd Green stamp their own personal styles on tracks like “Sneaky Snake” and “Barn Door”. The lyrics are full of fun and very accessible to children and the arrangements are just so right with the musicians providing perfect settings to match.
Eric Brace and his band “Last Train Home” provide a suitably enigmatic feel to “The mysterious fox of Fox Hollow” whilst Peter Cooper lends his vocals on the pro conservation track “Everybody loves to hear a bird sing.”
I love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow is a project born out of love, immense respect and a desire to commemorate the storytelling gifts of a great songwriter. Polished musicianship and attention to detail are both evident in the production but it is also obvious that a magical time was shared in the creation of this album. It is a great tribute by Peter Cooper and Eric Brace to Tom T. Hall’s work and one that I’m sure will help win him many new young fans.
Janet M Roe May 2011