Back in 2006, when Nashville was released, I was working in a record store but I wasn't all that familiar with the career of Solomon Burke. My boss at the time were a big fan of the comeback album Don't Give Up On Me which came out some years earlier. I had heard that record and I liked it a lot, but I wasn't all that into soul and r'n'b. Country music on the other hand was something that I had really embraced around this time. So when this album was released it got a lot of spins in our store - and of course, I fell in love with it.
Fast forward almost ten years and here we are. I picked it out of my shelf and put it on earlier this week, for the first time in a really long time. Probably since 2006 I guess. The first thing that hit me was that the album starts of with the brilliant Tom T. Hall song "That's How I Got to Memphis" which I had been looking around for before Christmas because I wanted to give it to a friend of mine. I was reminded about the song in one of the last episodes of the TV-series Newsroom late last fall. And then it's like - boom - it's been right under my nose the whole time. The song really sets the tone for the album, the beautiful cracks in Burke's voice and the subtle guitar playing of producer Buddy Miller.
The album flows on with an amazing Jim Lauderdale tune, with Lauderdale himself on guitar. It seems like this album is all about the feel, and believe me - the feeling is good. Buddy Miller's production makes it all feel like a some sort of family gathering where everyone just brings their guitar along and are having a really good time. It's a stellar line-up of contributors here, I'll tell you that. Lots of great songwriters and musicians. Dolly Parton, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Al Perkins, Sam Bush, Larry Campbell and the wizards Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
They do "Valley of Tears", a song that fit Solomon Burke like a pair of well worn boots. It just gives me chills all over - in the best possible way.
This country record is one that really has got soul. It feels like mr. Solomon Burke sings a lot about his own life on this record and you can't help but believing in what he sings. Hats off to Solomon Burke, one of the best performers ever.
"I'll just keep on falling in love
'Til I get it right.
Right now I'm like a wounded bird
Hungry for the sky.."
Solomon Burke - Nashville was released by Shout! Factory the 26th of September 2006.