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Luke Winslow-King - The Coming Tide (Bloodshot Records)

22 April 2013

One is reminded to not judge a book (or record) by its cover, but one look at the album art for Luke Winslow-King‘s third album (and debut for Bloodshot Records), The Coming Tide, makes one think of classic, old-time country music. Guess what? That’s exactly what it is. Good, feel-good, old-time music, one that mixes a little jazz with a little blues with a little country, and recorded in such a way that sounds like something from the late 50s/early 60s. They throw in some covers—not surprisingly, a Robert Johnson‘s “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning,” Leadbelly‘s “Ella Speed.” More surprising is their cover of George Harrison‘s hit “I’ve Got My Mind Set On You.” Instead of the fast-tempo of the former Beatle‘s version, Luke slows things down to a lackadaisical saunter down a dirt road; unhurried, unconcerned for anything but the moment. Their original material feels exactly the same way; it’s hard not to smile at the Randy Newman style shuffle of “You Don’t Know Better Than Me,” or the jaunty “I Know She’ll Do Right By Me.” What makes The Coming Tide special, though, is the singing of Esther Rose; her voice fits nicely alongside Luke’s, adding a lovely touch on songs such as “I’ve Got The Blues For Rampart Street” and the title track. It’s a shame she doesn’t get to sing more on her own. The Coming Tide is an exciting, lovely little jewel of a record, and one rightly worth rescuing from obscurity.

 

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