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Among them are drummers Jim Keltner (uniformly viewed as the best session drummer in the world, a man who played with John Lennon and Bob Dylan), and James Gadson (as well as producing classic albums for the soul star Bill Withers, he drummed on hit recordings by artists ranging from Gladys Knight to Justin Timberlake). Also present are Tom Petty's pianist Benmont Tench, former Jethro Tull keyboard player Dave Palmer, bassist Bob Babbitt (member of Motown Records' studio band The Funk Brothers in the `60s and `70s, and hence a player on more seminal recordings than can be listed here), and Hammond organist Mike Finnigan (who played with Jimi Hendrix on Electric Ladyland). Completing the all-star line-up on backing vocals are Merry Clayton (once one of Ray Charles's Raelettes, she sang on the Stones' Gimme Shelter), Tata Vega, Julia Walters, her brother Oren Walters, and Jim Gilstrap.
The uniformly blues / gospel-ish material on Hymn For My Soul spans the decades. In addition to the classic Bob Dylan track `Ring Them Bells' there are vintage songs by Stevie Wonder (`You Haven't Done Nothin'), George Harrison (`Beware Of Darkness'), and John Fogerty's (`Long As I Can See The Light').
There are tracks associated with veteran soul legends too, notably Art Neville and The Meters (Love Is For Me), Solomon Burke (Don't Give Up On Me), and Percy Mayfield (Rivers Invitation). But there are also two selections from the recent past, namely those by New Orleans group The Subdudes (One Word (Peace)), and Andy Fairweather-Low (the titular Hymn 4 My Soul). Recorded at L.A.'s Sunset Sound Studios and sung, played, and produced to near-perfection, they represent the best work that Cocker has done in years. The last track on the album, the only song not produced by Johns, is Cocker's version of The Beatle's `Come Together,' which was featured in the Oscar nominated movie, Across The Universe.
This CD is vastly different from most of his albums - a quieter type of songs. Really enjoy listening.Published 9 days ago by Robin B Griesman
What can you say bad about Joe Cocker? Nothing. Joe does a great rendition of Soloman Burke's song "DON'T GIVE UP ON ME BABY" Love the title song also... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Marie Iulo
I am not a critic, but I do like this cd. We tend to forget how soulful Joe Cocker's voice can be, and this reminds us quite well.Published 22 months ago by mike
I bought this CD for two songs, Just Pass It On, and the title track, Hymn For My Soul. Nobody can cover songs like Joe, but (sorry Joe) Long As I can See The Light, falls on its... Read morePublished 23 months ago by West Coast Scofflaw
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A JOE COCKER,AND I TWO RANK THIS ALBUM UP THERE IN TO THREE BEST OF HIS EFFORTSPublished on August 30, 2012 by Byron E. Roberts
I've been a fan of Mr. Cocker's since his first recording, and seeing him in the film "Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Read morePublished on January 3, 2011 by M. Butler
No one sings a song better than Joe Cocker. This CD is a gem. Every cut is an A+. Run, don't walk, to buy this fine soulful album.Published on September 3, 2009 by Matti Kniva Spencer
When you listen to Joe Cocker, when you purchase a CD by Joe Cocker, you know what you are getting! This music will not disappoint as long as you don't expect an out of body... Read morePublished on November 10, 2008 by Mary Ahearne
The minute that old gravelly voice comes through the speakers it makes you just want to smile. The fact that one of Rock's classic voices is still in such fine form is reason... Read morePublished on September 8, 2008 by kocoloco