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Already collecting accolades from reviewers, this CD is a music family affair and the result is a credit to them all. So let’s dive in. I felt “Why Do We Get Blue?” deserved a fuller musical background, yet when the vocal interaction arrived with the brothers Womack (Friendly Jr and Curtis) the song immediately stepped up and all doubts were dispelled. A hugely memorable melody.

An upbeat, funky “When The Battle Is Over”, sets a decisive pace, while “Make You Feel My Love” reaches a whole different level with duettist Bettye LaVette, who transports the song into a highly emotional maelstrom as Will keeps it on a more secure footing. Elegant strings slip and interlace through this Bob Dylan composition with ease. Same can be said for “This California Sun”, a tale of personal reflections of misjudgement. Unhurried and undemanding, but so easy on the ears. Will’s interpretation of The Ikettes’ “I’m Blue” stirs up the funk, catchy in the extreme with lashings of brass against a steady beat. Stax-esque almost. “Don’t Go To Strangers” is a little too middle of the road for me, but the upbeat “Treadin’ Water” whips us back to reality.

The CD’s title track, featuring Dr John, introduces the set and although not strictly indicative of what followed, instantly reminded me of Buddy Guy’s darkly lit nightclub in Chicago. (Yes, gospel truth, I was there a few months ago). This second outing by West Virginian singer Will Porter was, like his first “Happy” in 2003, produced by the legendary Wardell Quezergue. Sadly, this Southern soul hit maker died during 2011 so Will lovingly dedicated this to his memory. I maybe a little crazy saying this, but sometimes Will’s voice reminded me of our UK blues singer Long John Baldry: deep, a little scratchy in places, but coated in a soulful delivery that befits a man who has paid his musical dues. Can’t say fairer than that can I?

Rating: 8

About the Writer
Sharon Davis ran the Four Tops fan club before spearheading Motown Ad Astra, catering for all the Motown acts, where she edited the in-house magazine TCB. Was publicist for Fantasy, Stax and Salsoul before joining Motown Records in London. Formed her own press/promotion company Eyes & Ears, worked for Blues & Soul magazine and website, and became a full time author and researcher. To date Sharon has written eleven books (her last A Girl Called Dusty published by Carlton Books) and she’s working on her next - Divas Of Motown. As a researcher, Sharon assisted Diana Ross with her autobiography Secrets Of A Sparrow, and is now in constant demand for her knowledge about Motown and its artists.



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