Candi Staton His Hands

After the successful reissue of her singles for the Fame record label, Candi Staton was convinced that it was time to make her first secular recording in over 20 years. Produced by Mark Nevers (Lambchop) in Nashville, His Hands is a classic CD, superbly recreating the soulful sounds of her celebrated early ’70Muscle Shoals sessions. From that era, keyboard player Berry Beckett is reunited with Staton for the recording. Staton wrote four originals for the CD and they’re the most retro sounding songs of the recording —oul blues of the finest order. But they’re not old-fashioned. Check out the lyrics of "n Name Only,”a biting commentary on common-law relationships. Every song is a vehicle showcasing Staton’s emotive singing qualities. Compared favourably with Aretha Franklin and Irma Thomas, she’s a singer capable of combining intense vulnerability and joyous celebration within a single phrase. Along with her own songs, selections were made from the songbooks of Merle Haggard, Charlie Rich, Bobby Bland and Solomon Burke. The highlight of the CD is the title track, written by Will Oldham. Within the song, the laying of hands is expressed in three different ways to convey a story of love, abuse and redemption. Staton’s singing imbues the lyrics with a knowing conviction, as if the story she’s telling is her own. It’s a harrowing, compelling listening experience, equal to Bettye LaVette’s acclaimed "I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise”. This is a great contemporary soul recording. Here’s hoping she makes another soon. (EMI)