Pay the Devil Given how much a traditional Irish tune and a traditional Nashville song have in common (e.g., drinking and cheating), it was only a matter of… Pay the Devil Given how much a traditional Irish tune and a traditional Nashville song have in common (e.g., drinking and cheating), it was only a matter of… 2006-03-07 Van Morrison Country
Music Review

Pay the Devil (2006)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Mar 07, 2006; Lead Performance: Van Morrison; Genre: Country

Given how much a traditional Irish tune and a traditional Nashville song have in common (e.g., drinking and cheating), it was only a matter of time before Van Morrison got around to dabbling in country. On Pay the Devil, he settles comfortably into ageless, beer-drenched standards like ''There Stands the Glass'' and ''Back Street Affair.'' With his slurry brogue, Morrison is a natural at sounding like a disconsolate guy unloading on a bartender. The album is a little too respectful of tradition sometimes: The multiple, Bob Wills-style fiddles are fine, but we didn't really need a revival of schmaltzy choirs straight out of countrypolitan records of the '60s. Yet despite moments when Morrison sounds like someone in a Dublin karaoke pub, the record goes down as easy as a shot of fine whiskey. Hank would probably have liked it, even if one of the few missteps is, ironically, a sluggish cover of ''Your Cheatin' Heart.''

Originally posted Mar 03, 2006 Published in issue #867 Mar 10, 2006 Order article reprints
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