Music Moments, a new compilation to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, features an assortment of artists doing handpicked covers as well as originals. While it’s full of interesting cuts from the likes of Sting and Sharon Van Etten amongst others, two tracks particularly stand out.
The first comes from Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, who offer up an absolutely sublime version of John Prine’s dusty and delicate “Hello In There.” The song originally appeared on Prine’s 1971 self-titled debut and couldn’t feel more powerfully poignant than it does at this moment in time. Prine is one of Isbell’s favorite songwriters and not only does he feel that “Hello…” is “pretty perfect as songs go” but that it actually serves a higher purpose. “It motivates the listener to just be a better human, that’s ultimately the best thing we can ask of each other,” he says. It’s lovely, reverent performance and may result in a few tears wandering out of your eyes involuntarily.
The other highlight is superstar country music traditionalist Lee Ann Womack’s take on the Waylon Jennings’ 1975 stone-cold classic “Dreaming My Dreams.” Jennings often referred to the track as his favorite out of every song he’d ever recorded, confirming that the outlaw was a romantic softie at heart. Womack’s superb, heartfelt version of the wistful waltz twangs in all the right places and features a vocal that is pure country to its core. It was a song both she and her father adored, and Womack has a sweet memory attached to it which goes a long way in explaining why she interprets it with such perfection: “I remember as a kid being by myself in my room and playing this record on my little record player. As a small child you might not understand all the lyrics but you catch on to the feeling.”
In addition to the aforementioned artists, The Music Moments compilation also features contributions from Joan Jett, Anthony Hamilton and Band of Horses. You can check out all the tracks here.