Larry Jon Wilson

New Beginnings/Let Me Sing My Song to You

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Omni's 2011 two-fer combines Larry Jon Wilson's 1975 album New Beginnings and its 1976 sequel Let Me Sing My Song to You on one CD. Larry Jon Wilson was very much cut from the same cloth as fellow Monument recording artist Tony Joe White, blessed with a similar warm, burnished baritone, a fondness for Southern narratives and blue-eyed southern soul tempered by some soft, easy-rolling pop. White tended to be much rawer than Wilson, favoring wilder rhythms while LJW has a gentler touch, giving even his funkiest grooves a touch of smoothness. This makes both New Beginnings and Let Me Sing My Song to You -- so similar they play like two halves of a double album although, if pressed, it'd be possible to argue that the latter has just a slightly slicker surface -- quite easy to enjoy even if they're not quite gritty enough to really take root. Wilson's pair of polyester-draped country-soul LPs are certainly exquisite curios of the mid-'70s but they don't transcend the time, they belong to it -- which is more than enough to recommend this two-fer, actually.

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