Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Review: Reverend John Wilkins- You Can't Hurry God

Welcome to a blues time machine.

Reverend John Wilkins' You Can't Hurry God is the first great album of 2011. Even though it's not officially released until next year, it's available for purchase now directly from Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum.

Wilkins' time machine also transports us back 75 years. His father, acoustic blues legend Reverend Robert Wilkins, began recording in 1928. The vintage Wilkins style remains virtually unchanged.

In addition to affecting his father's spectacles and hat (compare and contrast above), Rev. John recreates two of his father's most famous songs on his forthcoming debut album. Most people know "Jesus Will Fix It" from the Doobie Brothers' hit version. He also covers "Prodigal Son," a composition famously popularized by the Rolling Stones. Here's a live version by Rev. John filmed in 2008.

Unlike that somewhat sketchy performance, however, Rev. John sounds powerful and fully on-point throughout You Can't Hurry God. A band supports him on five of the album's nine tracks.

Anyone with an interest in R.L. Burnside, Sister Rosetta Tharpe or the Holmes Brothers needs this raw, vibrant and uplifting album in their life. The new year has yet to begin but any album that tops You Can't Hurry God on my top album list of 2011 will need to be incredible.

English clarinetist Monty Sunshine has died. He takes lead on Chris Barber's "Petit Fleur".

I'm pretty sure that if I invested any time in Titus Andronicus it might be my new favorite rock band.

Wayward Blog tipped me to the availability of a documentary on Lawrence's hip hop scene of a decade ago.

I saw Shinedown and Will Hoge last week. Here's my ostensibly controversial review.

It's no "Fairytale of New York," but I actually like Coldplay's "Christmas Lights". Lord help me.

"Buy Nothing Day" from The Go! Team makes me very happy.

The latest Plastic Sax post has sparked a healthy discussion.

Kansas City Click: The Pretty Things Peepshow is at the Beaumont Club on Tuesday.

My Chemical Romance top Wednesday's bill at the Midland Theater.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)


mike t. said...

high praise for an acoustic blues album... well, high praise for any album. it's these kinds of comments that will drive me to check it out. thanks hib. (btw, ditto for titus andronicus.)

Happy In Bag said...

I neglected to mention that one track is available as a free download at the link I provided. It's not really reflective of the album as a whole, but I encourage you to check it out.