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Various Artists: Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein

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Various Artists: <em>Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein</em>

A heartfelt homage to ageless songs

On Twistable, Turnable Man, a hodgepodge of artists come forth to honor Shel Silverstein’s plaintive country songs and wacky children’s poetry with an affectionate, reverent tribute.

The homage was co-produced by Bobby Bare Sr., one of Silverstein’s closest collaborators, along with his son, Bobby Bare Jr. The pair gives Twistable, Turnable Man an invaluable dichotomy of old and new, pairing artists like Dr. Dog alongside Ray Price to illustrate the enduring nature of Silverstein’s words. Silverstein’s language—sometimes whimsical, sometimes poignant, often both—is honored through the smoky drawls of Sarah Jarosz, the freewheeling lilt of Jim James, and even the voices of both Bares themselves. Re-imaginations of Silverstein classics, like “The Cover of the Rolling Stone” are immediately recognizable and fun, but the heart of the tribute lies within lesser-known Silverstein verse. In “The Twistable, Turnable Man Returns,” Andrew Bird’s carefree vocals embody the poet’s childlike whimsy, while John Prine’s poignance on “This Guitar is For Sale” intensifies the bittersweet side of Silverstein’s songwriting. The curated artists of Twistable, Turnable Man span genre, gender and generation, and in doing so, prove the timelessness of Silverstein’s words.

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