Published Sep 30, 2014Listening to Everlasting Arms, it's staggeringly hard to believe Luke Winslow-King is from Michigan and not from the swampy bayou of Louisiana; he's crafted an album seeped in the rich traditions of New Orleans and its neighbours. Making music so indebted to the past can be a tricky affair. It's easy to lose sight of an artist who has built himself into a cocoon of the past, but Winslow-King approaches the proceedings like a seasoned vet, confident and assured in his approach putting these songs together.
Part of the real beauty of Everlasting Arms is the production, which allows all of these beautiful songs full of tradition and personality to shine. Too often, these sorts of throwback-type records get muddled with the distant sounds of people trying to recreate a lo-fi sound. Here, each instrument is clear and has space to breathe. In the back-alley jazz of "Home Blues" and the big band stomp of songs like "Cadillac Slim" and "La Bega's Carousel," each player has something to add to the songs.
Thankfully, none of this ever overwhelms Winslow-King. His voice is strong, full of experience and warmth beyond his years, rarely fading into the background; only once, and to great effect on "The Crystal Water Springs," does his voice sound touched up in any way. This is a beautiful piece of Americana crafted by a man who clearly knows what he's doing. (Bloodshot)