If you look on the net for reviews of this album you'll find a variety of opinions, mostly to do with the addition of a band behind Hawkins, which elicits responses from 'diluting' to downright 'plodding.'
I have to say this is nonsense. It's true that there are many performers for whom the addition of backing instruments is an unnecessary distraction (like giving Snooks Eaglin a rhythm guitarist) and yes, Hawkins' voice - a frayed, warm and familiar thing, like a favourite well-worn coat - doesn't need any supporting beyond his strummed guitar to make it glorious.
In the case of this album, though, the support is restrained and tasteful - just listen to the weepy pedal steel on 'Afraid' or the elegant slide solo and simmering organ on 'Long As I Can see The Light.' (The latter track showcases Hawkins' grainy, soulful voice beautifully - recorded a capella in one take, pitch-perfect and bang on the tempo.) Everyone involved plays as if they are aware that this is Ted's record, and they're there to add touches of colour, not elbow their way to the front. And it works.
Someone once described his lyrics as "at once simple and profound" and that's exactly right. While the latter stages of his life were sometimes confused and complex, here he uses simple words and his open, direct, straight-to-the-heart delivery to communicate and console. It was Hawkins' last album to be released in his lifetime. It's like a big, friendly arm around your shoulders; I love this album.