Reviewed by Paul Kerslake
I probably don't need to say a lot about Aaron Neville, as most of you will know the name and more specifically, his stunning, melismatic voice. This set of gospel classics was put together in three days with New Orleans piano legend Allen Toussaint adding plenty of delicious licks and a rootsy, bluesy production from Joe Henry (Solomon Burke, Mose Allison). On the opening "Stand By Me", Neville solos and sings freely while a gospel quartet sing underneath, building slowly, Toussaint's piano picking up the tempo until we're in a wonderful gospel swing. The title track is a gentle shuffle that you can just imagine being sung in an old southern Baptist church in the '20s, slowly building in dynamic and intensity. "Don't Let The Devil Ride" starts with a wonderful piano riff, a driving and joyful stomping tune. It's a great sounding record, using an obviously top notch set of musicians to accompany Neville's distinctive voice. There's something special about recording a group of musicians live together, and you can picture them in a room, playing off of each other, having a ball. Like a lot of recent records, returning to old methods of recording and moving away from produced sounds can make something special, especially when coupled with the right songs and musicians. This is undoubtedly the veteran's best ever gospel set and is recommended both to long-time followers of the veteran and those who simply enjoy good music.
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Aaron Neville teams up with super producer Joe Henry (Elvis Costello, Allen Touissaint, Rodney Crowell) to create one of the most heartfelt albums of his career.
Thirteen all new recordings of timeless Gospel songs done in a new, raw, delta flavour that only Aaron can deliver.