At long last Kelly Joe Phelps is back playing slide, albeit bottle-neck instead of his famous lap slide. Stylistically it's a return to the gospel-infused blues of "Lead Me On", his first and (in this reviewer's opinion) still his finest album.
KJP has found religion again, and there's a quiet, gentle earnestness that underscores everything here. This time, apart from on the two instrumentals, it seems as if Kelly Joe is content for his guitar to remain merely a backing instrument and, consequently, there are fewer instrumental pyrotechnics than might have been expected, which some long-time fans may well bemoan.
The song titles tell you all you need to know about where this one's headed. KJP is in fine voice throughout on an introspective album that rejoices in the wide open spaces that it leaves almost as much as in the sounds it creates. It's the perfect soundtrack to those still, quiet moments that provide an escape from the craziness of the outside world; man and guitar as one, searching for the light.
The album lacks the gut-wrenching heart-on-its-sleeve emotion of "Lead Me On" - this is altogether gentler fare, as demonstrated by "I've Been Converted" which is a disappointingly inferior version to the stirring rendition on that debut record. But overall, this is a welcome return to form after some curious recent left turns by this artist.