Eleven is aptly titled: it's Martina McBride's 11th album, contains 11 songs, and is her debut for Republic Nashville. McBride co-wrote over half the album and co-produced it with Byron Gallimore. Her husband, John McBride, engineered, mixed, and offered excellent creative advice. "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," the album's well-known single, deals with surviving the ordeal of breast cancer. It's a socially conscious anthem of the type that McBride has recorded throughout her career, and although it's typically inspiring and beautifully performed, it doesn't really reflect the album as a whole; "One Night," the celebratory opening number with ringing electric guitars….
For her 34th studio album, Anne Murray recorded a set of duets with many of her favorite female singers, from Nelly Furtado to Sarah Brightman. There are a number of country duet partners here, such as Shania Twain, Emmylou Harris, and Martina McBride, but there are even more pop-oriented women singing with Murray, encompassing the likes of Celtic Woman and Celine Dion. This makes perfect sense, as Murray's always straddled the pop-country fence effortlessly. Her singing on Duets: Friends and Legends is just as effortless. Now in her fifth decade as an active recording artist, her voice hasn't lost a beat, sounding just as pure and clear as it did on 1970s "Snowbird" (done here with a surprisingly relaxed, easy vocal from Brightman, sounding for all the world like a young Olivia Newton-John). The majority of these songs are ones which have been sizeable hits for Murray in the past, most of which work nicely recast as duets, or at least showcases for harmony singing.
On January 10, 2014, a star-studded tribute concert to Gregg Allman directed by Don Was was held at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. All My Friends showcases this show in double-CD/single-DVD and, in light of the subsequent announcement that the Allman Brothers Band would retire at the end of 2014 in the wake of the twin departures of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, it gains a certain sense of poignancy…
This CD is a must have for the Christmas. It is prefect for background music at holiday gatherings.