Lew Jetton And 61 South review…August 5, 2016…

LEW JETTON AND 61 SOUTH

RAIN

COFFEE STREET RECORDS

WHO’S TEXTING YOU–MOVE ON YVONNE–MISSISSIPPI RAIN–LAY ME DOWN–GLORY TRAIN–FEELS LIKE RAIN–DONE DONE IT–SANDY LEE–KEEPING ME AWAKE–IT’S RAINING

Lawd, it has been WAAAY too long since we’ve heard from Lew Jetton And 61 South.  Lew’s got one of those friendly, expressive voices that you can’t help but enjoy, especially when he’s singing the eight originals and two covers that comprise his latest album for Coffee Street Records, “Rain.”  He’s put together quite an impressive ensemble of backing musicians, too, including Eric Eicholtz on drums, Thumbpicking champ Alonzo Pennington on guitar, J. Solon Smith on piano, Legendary Shack Shakers’ Col. J. D. Wilkes on the harp, and, another friend of ours, Miranda Louise,  on backing vocals.

Lew gets right down to the real nitty-gritty with the leadoff cut that finds him bustin’ down a lover with one too many “BFF’s,” the social-media-age cheating song, “Who’s Texting You!”  This one features a fine guitar solo at the break, too.  Another story of lovers, guns, and money is “Sandy Lee,” with a Delta vibe and absolutely killer barrelhouse piano from Solon Smith.

Lew has always had a humorous streak in his songwriting, and we really enjoyed two of ’em.  First up is the roadhouse boogie of a man who’s “Done Done It, and went and fell in love with you!”  And, “Move On Yvonne” is a raucous “kiss-off” song to a crazy lover, with the Col. blowin’ a mighty harp and the female lead sung by Miranda.

The mythical, mystical power of rain is prevalent within these grooves, too.  Expressive guitar lines with Lake Ponchartrain as the backdrop is the story of the forlorn lovers in John Hiatt’s “Feels Like Rain.”  The set closes on a similar note.  Lew is accompanied only by Solon’s acoustic piano on a brilliant read of Allen Toussaint’s lovelorn “It’s Raining.”

We had two favorites, too, both with gospel leanings.  Distorted guitars and the Col. blowin’ up a storm is the Doomsday groove of “Mississippi Rain,” where, when it hits, “things we know will never be the same!”  And, we all gotta get on that “Glory Train,” a Sun-leavened slice of rockabilly gospel with Lew and Miranda ridin’ that train all the way to “our Savior’s domain!”  This song also features an intro and outro from Rev. Joanne Green and her “Words To Ponder” radio show from Paducah, KY.

Hearing Lew Jetton And 61 South on “Rain” is like re-connecting with a long-lost friend who hasn’t changed a bit.  Raise a glass and enjoy a listen to one of our long-time favorites!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

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