Far and away the disc of the year. Even better, the news from Joe Henry, the producer, is this is the first of a series. This is Soul from the 60s, but it isn't retread songs. They went into the studio in LA and recorded each song with a smashing band that has the feel of the music, even though some of them are probably too young to remember it as it was played in its heyday. However, with singers and musicians such as are featured here you might have to be made of stone not to feel the depths and soul of this music. Singers such as Mavis Staples, 2 cuts and a duet with Billy Preston who adds 2 solo cuts, Ann Peebles, 2 cuts, Irma Thomas, 2 cuts, and Allan Toussaint, 4 cuts and plays piano on all the cuts and acts as a kind of musical director. There is not a weak cut on the disc. Each of the vocalists is in rare form and knows who else is coming on the disc and doesn't let up for even a nanosecond. I think a lot of the credit has to go to Joe Henry and his vision for this disc. A quick aside here is that the liner notes are such an informative and entertaining read that they are well worth the finding of a magnifying glass and struggling with the burgundy type on very dark background (the only complaint with this disc). These artists have been around for a good stretch of time and the seasoning in their voices, their inflections. The depths of heart and soul that comes through the speakers is fantastic. These are emotionally inspired performances by inspiring performers. This is the most satisfying and uplifting disc to come around in a very long time.
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