Somewhere South of Eden (2017)

Age begins to be felt! I can not remember what I had written about Tommy Talton's penultimate album. Perhaps a sentence in the style « When an artist of Mr. Talton's caliber releases a new record, we listen to it and appreciate it without asking any questions ». Or something like that. Yes, age is here! I will therefore associate the memory defects to the drivel by taking again almost the same formula for this « Somewhere south of Eden » which marks the discographic return of a veteran of the Southern music, well known for its participation in the group Cowboy in the seventies. With Tommy Talton, we are never disappointed because the talent is always at the rendezvous. True to himself, he carries out all the guitar parts of the disc. The seduction takes place from the outset with « I can’t believe it », a melodic title with Motown accents, arranged very beautifully (doubled rhythmic guitar lines, horns section and saxophone solo). We continue on a roll with the bluesy « Hard situation » which offers a maximum of acoustic guitars and a nice accordion solo. This tune is based on a well-established line of major and minor chords. Then comes « We are calling », a country/folk song with an as Southern as can be slide to deliver a superb solo. Tommy Talton is still exploring country / folk territory with « Center of my soul » and his wall of acoustic guitars. Perfection not being of this world, « I surrender » and « Waiting on the saints » do not sound too bad but do not trigger the passion. But Tommy sort it out with five titles that largely stand out. First, « Somewhere south of Eden », a sparkling and striking of beauty ballad. The magic is installed from the intro with a majestic slide supported by an ethereal organ background. The solo, all in melodious notes glissandos, is gut wrenching. This is without a doubt the best song of the album! « Poblano », an instrumental sounding Hispanic, does very well with an inspired electric guitar. We note the presence on the piano of a prestigious guest in the person of Mr Chuck Leavell. Nothing less ! We make a refreshing detour on the side of the fast country-bluegrass with « Don’t go away sore ». On the program: two acoustic guitars, a drums, a bass and a banjo. Impeccable! « It’s gonna come down on you » (pop song in the Eagle-Eye Cherry style) is very effective with an excellent six-string solo. The album ends with « When I fall asleep again », a beautiful slow and melodic ballad distilling an acoustic guitar solo all in feeling. Listening to this record, we are transported to the time of the songs of Gregg Allman and Cowboy, blessed time where we knew how to play music. That's it ! I'm starting to ramble again. Really, the age is here! Like everyone else, Tommy Talton has grown old ... but not his talent. A real return to the roots of the Southern music!

Olivier Aubry

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