Various Artists: True Voices
True Voices is a compilation album originally released in the early ‘90s, with the intent of honoring artists who had passed. On the original 11-track album, Gene Clark, ex-Byrd, led the program with his version of Phil Ochs’ “Changes,” with covers of songs by Tim Buckley, Tim Hardin, Sandy Denny (handled here by Susan Cowsill), Nick Drake, Del Shannon and others filling out the set. What one notices first about the collection is that several of those singing the original tributes have since left us, including Clark, Jackie Lomax, P.F. Sloan (who took on Bobby Darin’s “Simple Song of Freedom”) and John Stewart, giving the album an extra dollop of poignancy. Add in a rare solo composition by Brian Jones, “Thank You (for Being There),” which found its way back into circulation via Krysia Kristianne, who is now deceased. But what makes the new reissue even more of a draw are the six extra tracks at the top, including tunes by Lomax (“Fall Inside Your Eyes,” voiced by soul great Percy Sledge, who is also now gone), Sloan (“Upon a Painted Ocean,” interpreted by John York) and Clark’s (via the Byrds) “She Don’t Care About Time,” offered up by Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield/Poco fame. Additionally, the great New York songwriter Bert Berns’ “Are You Lonely for Me Baby” is given a soulful treatment by original Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones; Tom Petty’s “Surrender” is cut by Phil Seymour, backed by the power pop band 20/20, and the whole shebang is led off now by Johnny Indovina of indie-rockers Human The Marshall Tucker Band Drama. Their “Ode to L.A. While Thinking of Brian Jones, Deceased” pulls double duty by honoring both the name-checked Rolling Stone and the poet whose words he recontextualizes: one James Douglas Morrison, whose own time on the planet was quickly ticking away at the time.