Co-founder of the revivalist Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens explores the frontiers of Americana on a solo debut of phenomenal vocal power, effortlessly jumping between gospel holler, tender folk song and lachrymose country ballad. With producer T-Bone Burnett providing his Midas touch, the album bears comparison to Plant/Krauss’s Raising Sand, likewise recasting old numbers in fresh guise. Patsy Cline’s She’s Got You acquires Stax horns, folk standard O Love Is Teasin’ haunting string drones, and the title track mutates from Nina Simone’s jaunty original to slow reflection. The bull horn power of Odetta and Bessie Smith’s sly blues are other touchstones on an agile, emotional record.
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