Kerri Simpson, a wonderfully soulful singer adept at embracing a host of musical genres with aplomb, is renowned for her skilled contributions to blues ‘n’ roots, world, rock and dance. Her eclecticism shines on the earthy Fortune Favoured Me, an album glittering with highlights. On the quietly elegant title track, written by that legendary Ice Cream Hand Charles Jenkins, Simpson’s gentle vocals are the perfect match for the tender lyrics and the evocative music. One Time Round features slinky, loose-hipped guitar, a light and funky rhythmic touch and bourbon-kissed vocals, while the aptly named Howl is a surging seething stomper that slithers seductively out of the swamp combusting with an animalistic fervour bordering on the supernatural. If You Don’t Know By Now is edgy and urgent alt-country infused rock characterised by a beefy chorus and a bucket load of passion. She Set Fire To The House is punctuated by expressive lead guitar that captures and channels the emotional currents of the song perfectly. Cry Down, which features robust backing vocals by Kylie Auldist and Nichaud Fitzgibbon and sassy sax by Paul Williamson, is a stripped back soulful gem that has an exciting live-in-the-studio feel. Insatiable is a swamp rock powerhouse that sizzles with incendiary guitar and pulsating rhythms while Mr Wolf is darkly atmospheric. The jaunty Pirates Are A Girl’s Best Friend is underpinned at times by a rhythm that is not too far from ska, yet this intriguing song also manages to incorporate elements of jazz and a playful musical theatre vibe. This magical album closes with Silver’s Last Stand, a haunting, wide-screen epic, that is entrancingly filmic in feel and approach.
BY GRAHAM BLACKLEY
Best Track: Cry Down
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Don’t Explain BETH HART & JOE BONAMASSA
In A Word: Magical