The sun’s out but the air’s still fresh – and refreshing! Blimey, could it be Spring? Well set up for a day’s work, I’m going in via Wallsend.
The original song is one of the greats, and it has an odd history (see Wikipedia). On this occasion, the protagonists are guitar and voice in a cavernous, empty space. The jaded, smokey voice pulls on soulfulness but entirely avoids histrionics. The guitar unreels purposeful fluent single-note and double-stopped baroque stylings on the original simple chord pattern. The under-pinning bass is heavy and careful, just like the drums. Both will speed up and slow down to lend the appropriate weight and poignancy to proceedings. There’s an organ, too, barely there but somehow effectively wrapping it all together.
All of the great Stax soul elements are in place but entirely re-imagined. The song has been hollowed out and rebuilt from the ground up with a craftsman’s respect for another’s original handiwork. It’s an astounding piece that stops time and moves into a mythical place. (Hmm, think I’ll press replay…)