Lucky Peterson

You Can Always Turn Around

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Lucky Peterson shows off his instrumental versatility on this mostly acoustic set by switching between piano, Duolian resonator guitar, and electric guitar. Vocally he's still at the top of his game and shows plenty of fire and versatility on this set by mixing renditions of blues and gospel classics with tunes from the pens of more contemporary writers like Ray LaMontagne and Tom Waits. He turns in a gritty vocal and shows off his considerable slide guitar chops on Robert Johnson's "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom," moving from icy slides to flurries of muted staccato notes. He plays Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues" like a straightforward Chicago blues using his slide to support his wailing vocals. Larry Campbell adds some unexpectedly funky blues mandolin to the track. "Death Don't Have No Mercy," the Rev. Gary Davis tune that became a folk hit in the '60s, is taken at a slow, soulful pace with several long, chilling Resonator excursions. LaMontagne's "Trouble" gets a slow reading with Peterson bringing a gospel flavor to his piano work, while his vocals are full of long, sustained notes and sanctified moans of emotion. "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" was written by Billy Taylor, but became a civil rights anthem due to a recording of the tune by Nina Simone. Peterson's wife, Tamara, joins him on the track to trade lead vocal chores. She proves herself a worthy vocal partner with her powerful vocals matching her husband's in fervor and power. Their playful give and take on the tune's coda is one of the album's high points. Peterson closes by turning Curtis Mayfield's "Think," from the Superfly soundtrack, into a country blues with his electric guitar solos sharing space with Campbell's pedal steel.

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