- Released: January 8, 2002
- Label: Warner Bros Mod Afw
Rolling Stone - 3/14/02, p.723 out of 5 stars
- "...star-studded, [and] well-played....big names to sing either R& B oldies or new songs that sound old..."
Entertainment Weekly - 2/22/02, p.68
"...An elegant arranged set of R&B and pop chestnuts, presided over by ex-Squeeze keyboardist Holland..." - Rating: B+
Down Beat - 4/02, p.643 stars out of 5
- "...Clamorous fun..."
- 1.Seventh Son
- 2.Horse to the Water
- 3.Will It Go Round in Circles
- 4.Valentine Moon
- 5.The Return of the Blues Cowboy
- 6.The Hand That Changed It's Mind
- 7.Nobody But You
- 9.I Put a Spell on You
- 10.Oranges and Lemons Again
- 11.All That You Are
- 12.Mademoiselle Will Decide
- 13.Back O' Town Blues
- 14.Town and Country Rhythm and Blues
- 15.I Wanna Be Around
- 16.I'm Ready
- 17.Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
- 18.T-Bone Shuffle
- 19.It's So Blue
- 20.Outskirts of Town
- 21.I'm in the Mood for Love
- 22.What Would I Do Without You
Personnel includes: Jools Holland (conductor); Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Sting, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Dr. John, Steve Winwood, Jamiroquai, Taj Mahal, Mica Paris, Ruby Turner, Stereophonics, Joe Strummer, Suggs, Mick Hucknall.
Personnel: Sam Brown (vocals); Anne Stephenson, Howard Gott, Jeff Moore, Brian G. Wright , Jacqueline Norrie, Marina Solarek, Jayne Spencer, Julia Singleton, Anna Hemery, Gina Ball, Fenella Barton, Sally Herbert, Anne Wood (violin); Claire Orsler, John Jezzard, Ellen Blair (viola); Emily Burridge, Abigail Trundle, Trevor Burley, Nick Cooper , Dinah Beamish (cello); Pete Long (clarinet, baritone saxophone, horns); Phil Veacock (saxophone, horns); Leo Green, Adrian Revell, Ray Gelato (saxophone); Jason McDermid, Jon Scott (trumpet, horns); Chris Storr, Dave Peers, Mick Ball, Guy Barker (trumpet); Roger Goslyn, Barnaby Dickinson, Rico Rodriguez, Winston Rollins (trombone); Paul Bartholomew (horns); Chris Holland (organ); Ian Jennings (double bass); Gilson Lavis (drums); Steve White, Laurie Latham (percussion); Claudia Fontaine (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Jay Reynolds; Laurie Latham.
Recording information: Helicom Mountain Utilising The Pyramid Room; Workhouse.
Photographers: Olivia Harrison; Mary McCartney Donald; Albert Watson ; Christabel McEwen; Brian Rasic; Andr‚ Csillag.
Although this is nominally credited to Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, really this is a 22-track various-artists compilation with Holland's ensemble serving as the house band. The lineup of old and new, superstar and cult talent is impressive, even if many of them are past their prime: Sting, John Cale, Stevie Winwood, Taj Mahal, Jamiroquai, Paul Weller, Joe Strummer, Dr. John, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Van Morrison, Paul Carrack, and Eric Clapton are some of the artists given a track. Holland has described his music as big band blues, and that's an apt description for a good deal of the songs, whether it's Sting's "Seventh Son," Taj Mahal's "Outskirts of Town," or Morrison's "Back o' Town Blues." Actually, though, some of this is soul, AOR rock, or ska. That doesn't necessarily count as a strike against the record, it just makes the groove less consistent. There is a consistent, hepped-up party mood, though one that's unrelenting yet slick enough so that it's rather like a party that tries too hard to succeed and goes on too long. Certainly it will attract the most attention for George Harrison's "Horse to the Water," his last recording (done shortly before his death in late 2001). Harrison was a great musician, but this is not a great or good track; the song isn't much, and his voice, unfortunately, sounds like it's in faltering shape. For the most part it's amiable and unmemorable, hitting its finest note on Steve Winwood's "I'm Ready," in which he (or someone, the part is not detailed in the credits) rips out some organ work straight from the spirit of his Spencer Davis Group days. The ska cuts by Suggs and Jamiroquai actually make for a nice change of pace from the grand blues strutting. There are also some missteps that might have been better left uncontributed, like Paul Weller's cover of Billy Preston's "Will It Go Round in Circles" and Stereophonics' version of the Beatles' "Revolution." ~ Richie Unterberger