2017 – Tommy Talton
By Phillip Smith; April 1, 2017
It’s been almost three years since Tommy Talton’s previous release Until After Then hit the airwaves. That one was quick to grab my attention with its lyrical and stylistic twists. His latest, Somewhere South of Eden, continues to feed my fascination with prolific lyrics and lush melodies. Backed by bassist Chris Donohue (Emmy Lou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Alison Krauss) and drummer Bryan Owings (Tony Joe White, Buddy Miller, Emmy Lou Harris), Talton is also joined by several spectacular guest musicians such as Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Allman Brothers), Spooner Oldham, Ike Stubblefield, John Ginty, Steve Conn (Sonny Landreth, Bonnie Raitt), Kenny Head (John Barry, Georgia Satellites), Jeff Mosier (Col. Bruce Hampton) on banjo, and saxophonists Randall Bramblett and Tom Ryan.
“Somewhere South of Eden”, a beautiful melancholy number flowing with soothing twangy slide, takes a hard look at mortality. This song shows without a doubt Talton belongs at the top of the list when it comes to the songwriting greats. I absolutely adore the buttery hypnotic hook in “Poblano”, a wonderful Latin-inspired instrumental with worldly beats from David Keith on congas and piano accompaniment from Chuck Leavell. It’s always a pleasure to hear the funky keyboard wizardry of John Ginty. His contribution to southern jam-friendly rocker “Waiting on the Saints” sounds fantastic amid Talton’s bodacious guitar licks. “Don’t Go Away Sore”, featuring a terrific banjo performance from Jeff Mosier is a big bowlful of bluegrass fun. It puts a grin on my face which stretches from ear to ear.
The esteemed Tommy Talton has definitely crafted one hell of an album with Somewhere South of Eden. I highly recommend it.