By Charlie Englar
Imagine driving through the Deep South with the experience all around you. If you’ve never had the pleasure of taking such a drive and are possibly planning one, or if you just want your mind filled with southern beauty, do yourself a favor and pick up Shelley King’s newest studio album, Welcome Home. It will serve as the perfect road map while you wander through a mangrove forest or cruise a dusty highway through fields parched by the never-ending summertime heat.
King commissions help from members of The Subdudes for this album; a combination resulting in a gospel/Cajun/country and all-around soulfully produced piece of music. The aura and sound developed by the quartet can only be described as masterful audio landscape imagery.
Shelley King’s voice is mesmerizing; it ranges from deep, within-the-belly crooning to soft, mother-like paternal soothing and cooing. John Magnie adds punctuations of organ, piano and accordion throughout the disc, making himself known in the subtlest of ways.
“I Can’t Make It Easy” is a lovely tune that finds King delicately singing to someone very special to her, most likely her young child. The line “I don’t know what you’re thinking/I can only see how you’re feeling/I’m not so much more in control than you” is delivered by King with a sort of nervous knowing.
The moment the album starts, the listener is sent to a certain place in time and space. Great control by all four musicians of their sound and purpose manifests itself into a superb album.