Volume Two: High And Inside by The Baseball Project (Yep Roc Records)
Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate and The Minus 5) and help from REM’s Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck and some fine back up music friends like Linda Pitmon (from Steve Wynn’s Miracle 3 band) have come up with another 13 songs that play homage to the beloved past time game. Seems like these maybe from Steve Wynn’s own watching of some of the games and the others are reliving old pastime selected events that happened at a ballpark near you. What happens when two music greats focus their talents upon their favorite sport? You get another entertaining The Baseball Project, Volume Two: High And Inside. The end result is an album with impressing knowledge of the game with its depth of obscure baseball lore.
The amazing thing on this CD is that McCaughey and Wynn admit inherited the task of including so many names, dates and places which required a focused mindset than the standard three minute pop gem might require and do it simply well here. This album should be nominated up for a Grammy Award. Volume 2 also includes music guest artist as Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan, as well as Chris Funk and John Moen from The Decemberists. The album is a little country but with enough power-pop that hooks you right into it.
There are some great stories, with nostalgia and baseball history galore on here. There are songs here about Pete Rose, and The Twins too. So sit down with a couple of beers and Cracker Jacks or beer nuts and give this project a good ole fashioned memory a spin and relive some great past moments of bassball. Some of the best songs are Don’t Call The Twinkies, Panda And The Freak, Pete Rose Way and Ichiro Goes To The Moon. This is a true Home Run of a winner record.
(Review by Jonathan D. Wright)