Tom Jones – Praise and Blame

Apparently the vice-president of Tom Jones’s label wasn’t too pleased about this foray into gospel, blues and trad-country by the Welsh crooner.

Presumably the suit wanted some big brassy belters in the vein of Mama Told Me Not To Come. Instead Jones, now 70, seems to relish giving up the Sex Bomb act by taking
a hard left into Johnny Cash territory.

On John Lee Hooker’s Burning Hell, the simplicity of the rumbling guitars paired with Jones’ throaty tenor makes for a surprisingly spine-tingling combo, bringing the White Stripes to mind.

Another highlight is his take on Mahalia Jackson’s honky tonk Didn’t
It Rain?
, which is bouyed nicely with gospel backing vocals.
Over 11 songs Praise & Blame gets a little samey,
but it’s a decent stab at something different by the
big man.


Listen to Tom Jones’ Burning Hell here:


Review: Alison Grinter