Some musical combinations are so good, you wonder why they didn’t happen before they did. This is the case with Colin Linden and Luther Dickinson who got together to record Amour. Colin Linden was mentored by Howlin’ Wolf and is part of the hit show Nashville. Luther Dickinson founded North Mississippi Allstars with his brother. Amour is proof that these two artists should work together more often.
One of the tunes is a cover of Jimmy Reed’s “Honest I Do.” Reed was known for his clean guitar sounds. This version features some distorted guitar that gives it a lowdown sound. Dominic Davis (bass) and Bryan Owings (drums) provide a rhythm that is great for slow dancing while Rachael Davis lays down some smooth and soulful vocals. This is a different beast than the original, but that’s not a bad thing.
Another good slow-dancing song on the album is “For the Good Times” (originally by Al Green). The instrumentation is pretty spare, and Owings lays down a slow drum part that is the backbone of the song. The breathy quality of Ruby Amanfu’s vocals brings Macy Gray to mind while Kevin McKendree provides a soulful (almost gospel) feel with the organ part. Don’t be surprised if you get chills listening to this one.
If you’re going to cover a song, it’s great if you can get the writer of the song to perform on it. That is the case with “Lover Please.” Billy Swan wrote the song and sings this version. As is the theme on this album, this is quite a bit different than the original. The biggest difference is the addition of a Cajun sound provided by Fats Kaplin on the accordion. It’s hard not to notice just how clean the guitars are in this song. It’s also pretty hard to sit still when you hear the accordion and the rhythm of the song.
Amour is an album filled with familiar songs performed in a very different way. It’s part soul, part blues, and all good. Set aside some time where you can listen to this album with no distraction. Just pour yourself a beverage, sit back, and enjoy. Amour will be available everywhere on February 8. Order your copy here.