Marshall Chapman wrote most of the songs here in tribute to friend (and former guitarist) Tim Krekel, who died of cancer in June of ’09. The result is at once beautiful and very sad.
Krekel played on the title cut, his twangy electric guitar, along with floating dobro and steel from Tommy Spurlock, make it the perfect opener. The songs that follow become more atmospheric, with Chapman remembering Krekel through various forms of music; “Down To Mexico” is bolstered by the guitar of Will Kimbrough. Krekel’s son, Jason, plays on the very funny “Sick of Myself,” a song written by his dad and Chapman that describes the musicians wanting to trade places. “Tim Revisited” and “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” are reflective pieces with soulful vocals from Chapman and more great playing from Kimbrough and Jim Hoke on steel.
The bond between the two is illustrated in the closing track, recorded live during Krekel’s last gig with Chapman. It shows an amazing band playing old fashioned bar boogie with nasty slide from Krekel and great singing from Chapman.
Given the sorrow associated with it, Big Lonesome can be a tough listen. But the obvious affection felt for Krekel by Chapman and the contributing musicians is nothing short of triumphant.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Feb. ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.