Country blues singer/guitarist Rory Block takes a scenic side trip into soul music on this, her 14th Rounder set.
Country blues singer/guitarist Rory Block takes a scenic side trip into soul music on this, her 14th Rounder set. The Ashford & Simpson-penned title track, of course, covers Chaka Khan's hit version (later covered by Whitney Houston), though Block effectively skews it with her acoustic slide guitar play opposite swirling synths. Calling on fellow contemporary country blues artist Keb' Mo', Block returns to the A&S Motown hit catalog with a more straightforward telling of "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," the great Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell duet. While other soul legends are covered via dynamite readings of Al Green's "Tired of Being Alone" and Teddy Pendergrass' "Love TKO," Block, in a wise move, does not blot out her country blues roots. Witness the traditional folk tune "Pretty Polly," featuring fellow slide whiz Kelly Joe Phelps, and the Leadbelly staple, "Rock Island Line," starring the acoustic harmonica stylings of Annie Raines.—JB