Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Hymn For My Soul is the 2008 release by Englishman Joe Crocker who is the purveyor of the most blood-curdling scream in pop music history (on his epochal cover of the Beatles "A Little Help From My Friends"). The deeply soulful Cocker is also one of rock's most gifted interpretive singers. After a breakthrough performance at Woodstock, he enjoyed a wave of success before dropping out of sight, only to reemerge in the '80s with the surprising soft-rock hits "Up Where We Belong" and "You Are So Beautiful." The reflective song titles on this album are 'One Word (Peace)', 'Don't Give Up On Me', 'Love Is For Me' plus seven more for a total of ten tracks.
Dirty Linen (p.74) - "[With] John Fogerty's 'Long As I Can See the Light.' Cocker transforms the song in his own image, and the result is possibly the highlight of the album. He brings it home, too, on George Harrison's 'Beware of Darkness'..."
Personnel: Ethan Johns (guitar, acoustic guitar, hurdy-gurdy, ukulele, harmonium, background vocals); Greg Leisz (guitar, steel guitar, mandolin); T-Bone Wolk (guitar, bass guitar); Mark Stewart, Albert Lee (guitar); T-Bone Burnett (baritone guitar); Phillip Levy , Julie Gigante (violin); Brian Denbow (viola); David Low (cello); Tom Scott (saxophone); Chuck Findley, Greg Adams (trumpet); David Palmer (piano, Wurlitzer piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ, keyboards); Benmont Tench (piano); Rick Martinez (Clavinet); Mike Finnigan (Hammond b-3 organ); Bob Babbitt (bass guitar); Jim Keltner (drums, percussion); James Gadson, Charley Drayton (drums); Don Heffington (congas, triangle, vibraslap); Antonique Smith, Yassmin Alers, Benjamin Ochieng, Jim Gilstrap, Julia Waters, Julianna Raye, Merry Clayton, Oren Waters, Orfeh, Tata Vega, Tracy Nicole Chapman (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Ethan Johns; Mike Piersante.
Recording information: Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographers: Andrew McPherson ; Jennifer Johns.
Even in his sixties, Joe Cocker is fully capable of releasing a soulful roar as powerful as that of his glory days. HYMN FOR MY SOUL finds the British belter adding a hint of gospel and a decided spiritual feeling to his trick bag without actually covering any gospel material. Ever the gifted interpreter, Cocker takes on everything from Bob Dylan's "Ring Them Bells" to Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long As I Can See the Light" and even the Beatles' "Come Together," his emotive rasp transforming them all into something uniquely his own. The title track, an Andy Fairweather-Low tune, combines greasy R&B with a gospel tint in a way that sums up the album's mixture of earthy emotion and upward aspirations.
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