Harper Valley P.T.A. (2022 reissue)

Jeannie C. Riley

ORG Music, 2022


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


An album that was originally released in 1968, Harper Valley P.T.A. sees the reissue treatment on colored vinyl, with new liner notes from Jeannie C. Riley herself and a bonus insert with additional photos that will be sure to impress the longtime fans of this legend.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The Grammy Hall of Fame-inducted title track gets the listen off to a very warm start, as Riley's distinct pipes and vivid storytelling steers the country meets pop display. “Widow Jones” continues the cozy spirit with intricate guitar playing and bouncy drums, and “No Brass Band,” one of the album's best, embraces some folk ideas in the flowing and breezy gestures.

Deeper into Side A, “Run Jeannie Run” is a more intimate selection that's quite poetic, even stirring, and the subtle strings of “Shed Me No Tears” makes for a very mature and diverse finish to the first half.

The back half offers the sophisticated yet sassy “The Cotton Patch,” as well as the playful and dance floor friendly “Sippin' Shirley Thompson.” “The Little Town Square” then gets a bit scrappy with some twang moments in the rural rock fun, and “Satan Place” exits the listen with a bouncy spirit and rare charm that made Riley a household name.

Although she's best known as a country music singer and then, later on, a gospel singer, Riley actually was the first woman to land on both the Billboard pop and Country charts at the same time with the multimillion selling #1 tune “Harper Valley P.T.A.”

She would never duplicate that commercial success, but remained active through the ’90s. A fall in a retail store in the early 2000s would keep her from performing again, but her work has endured through the decades since Harper Valley P.T.A. first appeared.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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