Producer Charles Normal has spent years crafting a revival of country artist Lee Hazlewood’s influential 1963 debut album, Trouble Is A Lonesome Town. Today, he finally sees his passion project come to life, thanks to help from such notable artists as Frank Black and Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock. Titled Thriftstore Masterpiece Presents Lee Hazlewood’s Trouble Is A Lonesome Town, the SideOneDummy release is likely to be the first in a series of similar revival albums.
Normal, a longtime producer and musician, got the idea for the album while living in Oslo, Norway, where he wandered into a thrift shop and came across the Hazlewood album. A casual listen evolved into the idea of reworking some of the songs, potentially for his own shows. But as the project continued, Normal eventually decided to recreate the entire album.
“I thought if I’m going to re-record it, I don’t want to re-record it as it is,” Normal tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ll start orchestrating it, arranging it with a different genre of Americana in mind for each song. Some Tex-Mex ideas, some surf music ideas, some mariachi ideas, which is not strictly Americana thing but there’s plenty of mariachi bands in America so I figured I’d count it. Some George Gershwin chord progressions. I was trying to tip a hat to the panoply of Americana while still sticking true to the story that was on the original Trouble album.”