Classic Gershwin standards are getting the country treatment on a brand new album, Gershwin Country, due out March 11 through Craft Recordings, with a portion of all proceeds benefitting MusiCares.
Spearheaded by Michael Feinstein and executive produced by Liza Minelli, the collaborative project reimagines the classic songs of George and Ira Gershwin through a country lens and pairs Feinstein with some of the biggest names in country music, including Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, and Brad Paisley.
Fans can stream the advance single, “Someone to Watch Over Me,” featuring Alison Krauss, now. From Gershwin’s 1926 musical Oh, Kay!, the tune became a No. 2 hit alongside the Broadway show and has been recorded by such artists as Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Willie Nelson, Barbara Streisand and Linda Ronstadt.
“The best interpreters of lyrics today are country singers,” Feinstein explains. “The deeper habitation of a song comes from connecting lyrically to the story and telling it honestly and with simplicity. Country artists are the last bastion of that art. Gershwin Country, was a chance to amplify and expand the palette of what Gershwin songs said, for I felt they could be heard anew from a different perspective and remain organic. And the thought of creating a Gershwin project with the potential to reach those who have never heard the name and would simply take the songs on face value was too irresistible.”
Other guests include The Time Jumpers with Vince Gill, who offer a harmony-filled version of 1924’s “Fascinating Rhythm,” Ronnie Milsap, who lends his distinctive vocals to 1924’s “Oh, Lady Be Good!” and Lee Ann Womack on 1927’s “Soon.” Mandy Barnett delivers a moving performance of “How Long Has This Been Going On?”
Rounding out the album is Amy Grant, who lends her vocals to one of the Gershwins’ most enduring songs, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” which was originally written for the 1937 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film Shall We Dance. Another popular standard, “I’ve Got a Crush on You” is performed with Rosanne Cash in an upbeat arrangement.
Gershwin Country Track List:
1. Love Is Here To Stay featuring Dolly Parton
2. I’ve Got A Crush On You featuring Rosanne Cash
3. Someone To Watch Over Me featuring Alison Krauss
4. I Got Rhythm featuring Brad Paisley
5. They Can’t Take That Away From Me featuring Amy Grant
6. Clap Yo’ Hands featuring Lyle Lovett
7. How Long Has This Been Going On? featuring Mandy Barnett
8. Fascinating Rhythm featuring The Time Jumpers with Vince Gill
9. Soon featuring Lee Ann Womack
10. Oh, Lady Be Good! featuring Ronnie Milsap
11. Embraceable You featuring Liza Minnelli
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