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Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra - Moving Out To The Country

Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Moving Out To The Country

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

JOOLS Holland has released an album every year for the past 10 years and this year is no exception.

Having swung with the blues and danced with the ska last year, he now goes rural with an album of country-inspired recordings that find his legendary Rhythm & Blues Band teaming up with all manner of high-profile vocalists.

The result is a deeply impressive collection of tracks that continue to demonstrate Holland’s diversity as an artist, as well as his all-encompassing passion for music.

What’s more, it may even appeal to listeners who don’t even like country, such is the richness and overall quality of some tracks.

KT Tunstall’s dusky voiced take on Darkness On The Face Of The Earth, which opens the album, is a particularly strong offering, while Richard Hawley’s re-interpretation of Hank Williams’ I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry positively drips with melancholy and hints at the style of classic Johnny Cash.

Solomon Burke’s bluesy vocals enliven Moving Out To The Country and sound great against the backdrop of Holland’s dazzling piano skills and a gospel choir.

While India Arie’s deliciously soulful vocals lend a supremely classy quality to Georgia On My Mind that help turn the track into a real heart-melter (complete with more silky piano chords and a fine brass section).

Mark Knopfler, meanwhile, contributes a classic country style to You Win Again and Tom Jones lends his distinct vocals to both the slow-burning I Wish I Was 18 Again and Friends Not Lovers.

Less impressive are collaborations with the likes of Lulu and Paul Carrack, while the sheer volume of tracks – 22 in total – means that non-country fans may find that certain sections drag – especially if you have no prior appreciation of the tracks.

But no matter what you think of the genre, there’s no denying that this has been put together with a tremendous sense of respect and reverance in the style that only Holland knows how.

Moving Out To The Country is clearly the sound of an artist having fun and indulging a very deep passion. Yet crucially that never comes at the expense of the listener and for the majority of the time it’s terrific fun joining in.

Track listing:

  1. Darkness On The Face Of The Earth – KT Tunstall
  2. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Richard Hawley
  3. Moving Out To The Country – Solomon Burke
  4. She’ll Have To Go – Lulu
  5. For The Good Times – Bob Geldof
  6. Georgia On My Mind – India Arie
  7. Dreaming My Dreams With You – Brian Eno
  8. You Win Again – Mark Knopfler
  9. Misty Blue – David McAlmont
  10. I Wish I Was 18 Again – Tom Jones
  11. Sweet Dreams – Louise Marshall
  12. Games People Play – Marc Almond
  13. Boogie Woogie Country Girl – Jools Holland
  14. Take These Chains From My Heart – Paul Carrack
  15. Rocket To The Moon – Jools Holland
  16. It Aint Gonna Worry My Mind – Ruby Turner
  17. Friends Not Lovers – Tom Jones
  18. I Can’t Stop Loving You – Lulu
  19. Dead Hosts Welcome – Dr John
  20. Feel Like Going Home – Sam Brown
  21. The Pilgrim – Bob Geldof
  22. Where Do I Go From Here – Jools Holland