Grandpa Elliott Sugar Sweet

As a street singer in New Orleans, Grandpa Elliott has charmed residents of the Crescent City since the '60s. Now on this debut album ― made at the behest of Playing For Change, the organization that first brought him into the recording studio for its 2009 compilation, Songs Around The World ― Elliott's timeless soul is beginning to be heard everywhere. While his story is certainly heart-warming, his performances justify all the recent attention the 65-year-old has been receiving. Each of Sugar Sweet's nine tracks is an R&B standard that Elliott attacks with zeal, and it is the purity of his voice that's the album's main attraction. The instrumental backing is often merely adequate, but Elliott's indomitable spirit more than compensates. At the very least, Sugar Sweet is a sufficient remedy to the endless stream of "divas" that television talent shows keep spewing out. Elliott is the real deal, and deserves to be acknowledged for his ability. (Concord Music Group)