Jimmy Burns

It Ain't Right

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It Ain't Right is Jimmy Burns' first studio set in a long time -- 12 years, to be precise, a belated sequel to 2003's Back to the Delta. It Ain't Right doesn't make any pretenses about returning to Burns' Mississippi roots but rather settles into a wonderfully textured soulful groove, something relaxed and elastic, a sound that gives plenty of space to both his clean, hopping guitar and robust vocals. Although the album is devoid of originals, he manages to spin songs by Bobby Rush, Jimmy Reed, Percy Mayfield, Little Walter, and Lowman Pauling toward his soulful style, even finding a way to turn Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" into a bit of an uptempo groover. Not everything here is sprightly, not by a long shot, but the things that stick recall the easy elegance of Sam Cooke, whether it's on the deceptively chipper "Will I Ever Find Somebody?" or the churchy closer "Wade in the Water," and they help turn It Ain't Right into something of a relaxed, heartfelt celebration.

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