When I reviewed Levon Helm's previous album, 'Dirt Farmer', I rashly awarded it 5 stars as I thought it was one of the best albums I'd ever heard. That was a mistake, as this is even better, and I hove no way of giving it higher marks than its predecessor!
Dirt Farmer was an album of country/folksy, mainly acoustic tracks. Here the musical palette has been expanded to include blues, gospel and Cajun. It all fits together into a coherent whole though. The stand out track for me is the rousing cover og Muddy Waters' 'Stuff You Gotta Watch', one of two Waters covers on this album. It's hard to pick a standout though; the standard is pretty darned good throughout.
Levon's voice is in fine fettle, with that trademark clarity and soaring style still in evidence even after the throat cancer. The backing musicians are a decent bunch, and work well together. Backing vocals are once again provided by Helm's daughter Amy, and again their voices mingle to perfection. A foot tapping record, everyone involved seemed to be having a lot of fun, which is the way it should be.
A thoroughly enjoyable album which deserves to pick up lots of awards. recommended to anyone who likes good music.