Inspired by his experience producing the legendary Solomon Burke's Grammy-winning 2002 comeback album, producer-singer-songwriter Joe Henry became passionate about recording more music with other surviving soul music icons. Henry's vision was realized when some of his favorite living artists-Ann Peebles, Billy Preston, Mavis Staples, Irma Thomas, and Alan Toussaint recorded a mix of classic and original songs in Hollywood's famed Capitol studios. Some sessions overlapped and the artists collaborated, some tracks spotlight a singularly masterful voice...all are inspired-and inspiring.
Even though he has released nine albums of his own in more than two decades in the music business, Joe Henry
may best be known as the producer of soul man Solomon Burke's 2002 comeback record, Don't Give Up on Me.
Now Henry hopes to do for soul what Ry Cooder's Buena Vista Social Club
did for Cuban music, convening R&B legends Allen Toussaint, Billy Preston Irma Thomas, Mavis Staples and Ann Peebles for one week at Hollywood's Capitol Studios. But rather than rehashing the past in individual sessions, Henry assembled a house band (led by Toussaint) and demanded newly written or freshly interpreted songs. While her most recent solo release Have A Little Faith
makes Staples appearance here less critical, her duet with Preston (whose organ playing is splendid) on "That's Enough"is a highlight. But the real stars are Thomas and the piano-driven rendition of Tom Jans' "Loving Arms,"and the underrated Peebles, who reinvents Bob Dylan's "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" from Nashville crooning to Beale Street believable. --Scott Holter