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– Linda Ronstadt – Duets (Rhino)

Boxx Magazine | Linda Ronstadt – Duets (Rhino)

Sunday 27th December 2015,


Linda Ronstadt – Duets (Rhino)

Brett Aaron Marlow April 23, 2014

Overall Score


Linda Ronstadt Duets

Linda Ronstadt’s latest release Duets makes us want to fling open the kitchen shutters, tie a floral apron around our waist, break out a ceramic pie dish, crank up the stereo as loud as it will go and pretend the album was called Trios so we could add to the mix of talent that take on the legendary powerhouse’s hits.

Featured here is mostly her old country and Americana hits that Ronstadt could knock out of the park on her own, but it’s the loveliness, grit and harmony from her friends Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, James Taylor and the great Frank Sinatra who later add a nice balance, even more poignant given Ronstadt’s failing voice as she battles Parkinson’s disease.

The album, chock full of sweet, sorrowing love tunes that will forever remain timeliness, showcases Ronstadt’s versatile voice and how it can blend effortlessly with other partners, no matter the genre or duet partner—even “Sisters” with Bette Midler from the White Christmas album shows R0nstadt’s Broadway powerhouse forte. But her strongest gift continues to be the old-time country and Americana odes with flawless, standing-ovation-worthy studio cuts of “I Can’t Get Over You” with Ann Savoy of Savoy Doucet Cajun Band or “The New Partner in Waltz” with Carl Jackson and some saloony pedal steel. Dolly Parton chimes in with a heaping dose of twang on the heartbreaking “Will Never Marry” with perfect finger-picking backings for a truly classic country duet—you could almost see the two up on stage in a honky tonk in the southwest 40 years ago. Duets could very well be one of those you see during late-night infomercials with vintage footage scrolling behind yellow 800-numbers and song titles—but, trust us, this is one worth dialing in to purchase.

Ronstadt was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and for an amazing reason. No longer able to sing, her friends Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow sang her tunes in tribute proving Ronstadt’s pristine voice transcends any genre from country to old-school Sinatra classics to making her mark in the classically ‘80s synth style with songs like “All My Life” and “Don’t Know Much”  (featuring Aaron Neville), all huge hits for the star 30-plus years ago.

It’s this extraordinary, wholesome musical career that Ronstadt remembers so fondly in her recent memoir. Having lost her abilities, Duets serves as a needed reminder of true uncharted talent that may never be replicated once more. Ronstadt will always remain a staple in American and Latin music as va oice all her own, never to be outshined or replicated. If anything, followers can only aspire to be like her duet partners—just happy to be a part of something timeless, sweet and sensational.