Compact Capsules by Dan FergusonÂ
Naomi Shelton & Gospel Queens
What Have You Done, My Brother?
Soul music in the gospel tradition is the M.O. on What Have You Done, My Brother? from Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens. Singing in Brooklyn and NYC soul clubs since the early â€˜60s, the Alabama native’s solo debut album is a slab of timewarp tunage that plays like some long lost, early â€˜60s Southern soul artifact. Credit the album’s throwback sheen to Shelton’s hooking up with Daptone Records whose label cornerstone is the great soul revivalist Sharon Jones. It’s a marriage made in heaven, not to mention must-have goods. Visit www.daptonerecords.com.
New Moon Hand
Big Legal Mess Records
When he hunkers down on guitar (as he nearly all through his new album), the garage-folk blues of Alabaman Willem Maker is near narcotic. Maker hits the strings hard on New Moon Hand taking his beautifully poetic lyrics and roughhewn voice to gut-grabbing heights. Be it singing about the lead and mercury poisoning that decommissioned him for a decade or the mesmerizing slide work on “Black Beach Boogie”, Maker proves a new force to be reckoned with. Visit www.makerworks.com.
James Luther Dickinson
Dinosaurs Run In Circles
Memphis International Records
I’m thinking cavernous dance hall, piano in the corner and bare-bones trio with bass, brushes and a codger on the ivories. It’s as antique as it’s timeless. At age 65, many think retirement. Not Jim Dickinson. Involved in music since the â€˜60s, the 67-year-old marks the “social security years” with his third solo album in three years, all after a 30-year stretch that yielded just one. Dinosaurs Run in Circles is a departure, Dickinson’s jazzy foray. Loose and informal arrangements give it an appealingly casual feel not far removed from a few fellows noodling the night away in a beer hall. In other words, kind of addicting. Visit www.memphisinternational.com.
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at email@example.com.)