121. Solomon Burke – “Nashville”

Having conquered the soul arena, it was logical for the enormous force of nature that is Solomon Burke to roll through Nashville bowling over everything in his path.

Solomon Burke album cover NashvilleSolomon is clearly a man with friends in all the right places.  He says “I’d like to do a country album”, and up pop Dolly Parton, Emmy-Lou Harris and Gillian Welch offering to sing along, and Buddy Miller ready to spin the production knobs.

They do a damn fine job.  They find a very workable and attractive middle ground at the intersection of soul and country.  The country is at the “western” end of the spectrum (which I presume has rock at the other end).  Much of the instrumentation is acoustic. The tempo is often thigh slapping speed, and Burke’s voice is right up front.

The song selections are a treat – tunes about money-grabbing ex-wives (Aint Got You), roller-coaster relationships (Seems Like You’re Gonna Take Me Back), and more woman trouble (You’re the Kind of Trouble).

This is a more restrained effort from Burke, but sits comfortably alongside Johnny Cash’s American Recordings as a testament to the power of country music.

File under: The wisdom of Solomon

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