There was never any disputing the strong country influence Eilen Jewell brought to her retro-pop-folk, so it's no surprise that she detours into this short but extremely sweet tribute to one of her obvious influences, Loretta Lynn. It's a natural side road, especially since Jewell's sumptuous voice is similar to Lynn's, as is her delivery. Jewell already recorded Lynn's "The Darkest Day" on her previous album, but the dozen selections here are not the coal miner's daughter's best-known tunes, despite the obvious resemblance of the cover art to 1968's iconic Loretta Lynn's Greatest Hits. Rather, the tracks are carefully chosen to reflect only Lynn's original compositions that highlight her often defiant, genre-expanding lyrics and diverse topics, which range from offbeat gospel ("Who Says God Is Dead") to brazen infidelity ("Another Man Loved Me Last Night.").
Not just a great tribute, but one of the best blues releases in years. England's premier blues band, The Hoax, follow up last year's fantastic album, "Big City Blues" with this great 'tribute' to B.B. King. The twin guitars of Jesse Davey and Jon Amor are absolutely on fire throughout the entire set, singer Hugh Coltman's voice has never sounded better, and the rhythm section of Robin Davey on bass & Mark Barrett on drums are rock solid. Complemented by a smokin' horn section and keyboards for this recording, the band really gives the listener the impression that they all really love these songs, and their idol that they pay tribute to with each and every note played. Not only one of the best 'tribute' albums I have ever heard, but one of the finest blues albums I have had the pleasure of listening to in years. ~ Stephen G. Headrickon, Amazon
Among musicians, Arthur Alexander was always considered one of the greatest R&B songwriters. Both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones covered his songs, "Anna (Go to Him)" and "You Better Move On," respectively, early in their careers. But they weren't the only ones – throughout the years, his work was rich source material for many blues, soul, rock, and country artists. He may have earned the recognition of his peers, but he remained relatively unknown to the general public, right up to his death in 1993. In order to raise his profile, Razor & Tie released Adios Amigo: A Tribute to Arthur Alexander in 1994, assembling a stellar and diverse lineup to record new versions of his songs. The diversity and the fresh arrangements illustrates the depth of Alexander's songs and how well they lent themselves to new readings. Like any tribute album, Adios Amigo is uneven, with a few tracks falling flat, but the best moments – Elvis Costello's "Sally Sue Brown," Robert Plant's "If It's Really Got to Be This Way"…
All the tribute albums in the Magna Carta catalog tread dangerous ground. How can they give the artists room to stretch and still maintain enough of the original spirit to capture the art-rock audience that knows these songs by heart? "Supper's Ready" manages to walk that fine line for the most part, with strong contributions by Annie Haslam, Kevin Gilbert (a trombone solo on "Back in NYC" works impossibly well) and Magna Carta label workhorses Robert Berry, Trent Gardner and Magellan, and Shadow Gallery. On the down side, John Goodsall, guitarist of Phil Collins' jazz offshoot, Brand X, is wasted on "Carpet Crawlers." Matching him with vocalist Michael Zentner is a disservice.