With roots stretching back seven decades, the Blind Boys of Alabama still chug along, aided here by a host of country luminaries, including Vince Gill ("Can You Give Me a Drink?") and the Oak Ridge Boys ("Take the High Road," which pairs majestic vocals with laid-back twang).
Why don't more people listen to Ron Sexsmith? The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter crafts masterful pop songs, records them with topflight producers and sings them in an understated croon. Unless you hate music that makes you smile, what's not to like?
Wanda Jackson may be the queen of rockabilly, but Jack White is king of this collaboration. The roots-obsessed producer takes charge, offering a high-octane reimagination of various '50s styles. But where White's work on Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose (2004) came off as reverent and almost subtle, here 73-year-old Jackson's presence seems like an afterthought.
A flash of colored wing; peacock, pheasant brilliance— turquoise, scarlet, green, bronze, settled soft to downy quiet. Then he spoke a greeting, the same tone as the deepest bell.
He addressed her as favored. Favored? By what? By whom? Even her wonder and her awe did not erase her reason. They conversed between two worlds until she clearly understood.
When she consented and he left, she wondered how her world would be able to wear such brightness. His words still rang the spring air and one, which seemed the sum of all, resounded, rounded, and remained.