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Boomkat Product Review:
At age 81, the great Charlie Louvin shows no signs of hanging up his Stetson. Having spent the past year on the receiving end of much critical praise for his Grammy-nominated previous album - not to mention notching up live dates that saw him sharing a stage with youngsters like Ryan Adams and Neko Case - over the next couple of months he's set to release yet another album, the cheerily titled Charlie Louvin Sings Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs, which like this excellent record is produced by Lambchop's Mark Nevers, who's recently handled Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Andrew Bird projects. Steps To Heaven is a fitting companion piece to the forthcoming album, focussing on songs in the gospel tradition that allude to death and the afterlife. The recordings were all made live, with Louvin recruiting three gospel backing singers, scene regular Derrick Lee on piano and Chris Scruggs (now that's a proper Nashville name) propping up the bass and manning electric guitar. Steps To Heaven has the feel of Johnny Cash's work from the American Recordings series, and fans of old school, authentic country are sure to find much to rave about here.