Beth and Joe have done it again. This effervescent follow up album to the exquisite Don't Explain is again stellar, yet more upbeat, high energy, soulful and rockin. No sophomore slump here. Beth & Joe have hit their stride and perhaps are even more in tune with working together on the second go around.
A classy choice of songs have been selected, previously recorded by Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Donnie Hathaway, Lucinda Williams, Buddy Miles, Tina Turner, Slackwax, Melody Gardot, and Nina Simone. From big band sounds, to sultry ballads, to balls out growl and howl, to French inspired with Arlan Schierbaum on accordion. Somehow the diversity of the songs are tied together to make a cohesive whole. Anton Fig gives a powerhouse performance on drums with the rest of the excellent band Blondie Chaplin and Carmine Rojas rounding everything out.
Vintage songs and in a sense vintage recording as well. Producer Kevin Shirley's method of recording live in the studio with the entire band playing together is the antithesis of so much of today's manipulated and computerized music. This band is interacting with each other and having FUN - and you can hear it in the music! Later in the process the horns by Lee Thornburg and Ron Dziubla are added as well as the strings by Jeff Bova which just takes everything to yet another level.
Beth Hart not only has an effing astounding voice, but the ability to truly connect with the material and make it her own, then communicate the emotion behind it. Joe Bonamassa augments the songs and compliments Beth's vocals perfectly with tasteful guitar work that is restrained in places and in some places he really lets loose. He shines on the solo at the end of I Love You More than You'll Ever Know with bluesy, soulful work.
Stunning record. Brilliantly done. Guaranteed to brighten your day. One of the best albums of the year. A big sassy bitch of an album!