Joe Stilgoe - New Songs For Old Souls - Jazzwise

In the hands of a lesser artist, New Songs for Old Souls could well have executed ended up being a brilliantly executed exercise in nostalgia. But Joe Stilgoe looks back to the Great American Songbook with such feeling, energy and, yes, love that it's impossible not to be swept along by the album's welcoming embrace. Produced, recorded and mixed by James McMillan, a trio of songs arranged for big band, ‘Nobody Cares Like Me', ‘Pocket Song' and ‘Gold On Silver', are all standouts. Stilgoe has recorded ‘Gold On Silver' before (Songs On Film0, but with the dramatic heft of its blazing, Gil Evans-like introduction, you hear its big, yearning melody entirely anew. Songs such as ‘Nothing's Changed', ‘Roll' and ‘How To Fall In Love' (complete with Louis Prima-type shouts from the band), highlight Stilgoe's ability to pen melodies that you think you've known forever. There's also a superb duet with the incomparable Liane Carroll on Brian Wilson and Tony Asher's ‘I Just Wasn't Made For These Times'. Stripped of its familiar psychedelic textures, the song's communicative power goes straight to the heart.

01 June 2015