Artist: Colin Linden
Album: Rich In Love
Label: Stony Plain
Release Date: 09/25/2015
Colin Linden considers himself a blues artist in the fundamental sense. But the acclaimed guitarist from Canada, now a Nashville mainstay, smokes it impressively across a much wider stage. Rich In Love proves Linden’s a deft player without question, and an animated tenor singer to boot. But it’s the deep, broad spectrum of his songs and their magnetism that sets him apart. Music City’s been a good move for him.
Linden hasn’t made a record of his own, save an exceptional live release, in six years. He’s been busy recording with his band Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Gregg Allman and others, and touring as Bob Dylan’s guitarist. Played primarily by the wonderfully-dubbed Rotting Matadors (Linden, bassist John Dymond and drummer Gary Craig) along with keys king Reese Wynans, the organic nature of the album is evident right off the bat in the old timey bounce of “Knob & Tube.” Although performed acoustically, the implied electricity between woman and man crackles and pops. A supreme command of metaphors and the low-key but powerful rhythm that supports them makes “I Need Water” an early standout. Then, the inspiration of The Band becomes obvious in every nuance of Linden’s “Delia Come For Me,” he and the Matadors amazing in their rich endorsement. Ironically, Levon Helm’s daughter, Amy, doesn’t sing on that one, but she does enrich the spooky groove of the title song, joining in after Linden begins singing of his woman who “used to sing so sweet and low.” But the real star guest of that song– the straight blues “The Hurt” as well– is the legendary Charlie Musselwhite, who moans tunefully like no one else through his harmonica. Sweltering stuff.