Solomon Burke Nashville

Solomon Burke must be one of the most flexible singers ever. In 1960, after establishing himself as a top-shelf singer of gospel, R&B and soul, he found himself at his first Atlantic Records session recording a country song called "Just Out of Reach.” Friends advised him against it but to everyone’s surprise, the song became a hit in both the R&B and pop charts. Why it’s taken Burke 46-years to follow up on that initial success is a mystery but with Nashville, he’s made up for lost time and recorded a full CD’s worth of first-rate country material. This recording is as good as Don’t Give Up On Me, his acclaimed release of 2003. Impeccably produced by Buddy Miller in his Nashville home, Burke and the first rate session musicians sound relaxed and comfy together. The song selection is superb, drawn from the contemporary songbooks of Jim Lauderdale, Bruce Springsteen, Kevin Welch, complimented with chestnuts by Tom T. Hall, Dolly Parton and George Jones. Much will be made of the guest vocalists on Nashville —duets with Parton, Emmylou Harris and Patty Loveless — but the true highlight is the songs where Burke’s voice is allowed to shine on its own. Forty-six years of singing has added depth to that wondrous gift and hearing him inhabit the lyrics of Gillian Welch’s "Valley of Tears” and Patty Griffin’s "Up To the Mountain” is an uplifting experience. And not all the songs are serious; "Ain’t Got You” and "Honey Where’s The Money Gone” add the welcome touch of humour that’s often found in country songwriting. (Shout! Factory)