Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams 'Self Titled'- Red House

This album is a very long time coming…and it is well worth the wait, although it took a lot of listening to come to that conclusion. Larry Campbell is a string wizard; guitars acoustic and electric, mandolin, bouzouki, fiddle, banjo and pedal steel, he is probably best known for his work as a Dylan sideman and for producing and playing on Levon Helm’s three Grammy-winning albums. His wife Teresa Williams has one of the best, most magnetic voices around. To say that the Tennessee born singer is a great country singer is to unfairly limit her.

Campbell has written 8 of the 11 songs on the album and they range from the lovely, sultry opening duet Surrender to Love through the uptempo Bad Luck Charm with Larry on lead vocals to Teresa’s tour-de-force, the lush, slow Another One More Time. And that is just the first 3 songs! Her singing is perfect, Amy Helm joins them on harmony vocals on three songs and Byron Isaac’s bass and Justin Guip’s drums are spot on throughout.

On first listen my favourite track was the Louvin’s You’re Running Wild the recording of which must go back a few years as Levon is on drums, but my current favourite changes each time I listen to the album. There are two other cover songs; one is a rocking gospel cover of the Reverend Gary Davis’ Keep your Lamp trimmed and Burning which truly sounds as if it could convert any stray sinners who hear it. The Grateful Dead’s Attic’s of My Life closes the album.

The production is exactly right and Bill Payne’s piano contributions are sparse but well placed. The cover is gorgeous and low key. This is a wonderful album, perfectly made and inherently musical. More please.