Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blues, upbeat rocking, meditative swampy folk and introspective picking infused with country all appear in singer/songwriter Andrew Duhon’s sophomore release. But it’s his dusky, husky voice that ties these genres together, creating a wonderfully expressive album that simmers with Southern soul. Like Van Morrison, Duhon stamps even lesser material with his dynamic yet never overbearing vocals, bringing buckets of heartfelt emotion to the R&B strains of “Shelter You Through,” buttressed by a sweetly melancholy harmonica solo. Time spent in New Orleans accounts for occasional lyrical and musical references to the Crescent City, but is surely responsible for the overall soulful vibe of the songs. Nothing is rushed, with tunes such as the lovely “Rest on her Shoulder” given space and room to unwind at their own relaxed pace. Co-producer Trina Shoemaker has worked with kindred souls Grayson Capps, Shannon McNally, the Indigo Girls and Dylan LeBlanc among others, and brings a similar live rootsy, homespun feel to these recordings. Retro without being musty, this self-released project is a hidden gem well worth searching out for fans of the above acts, and one of the best under-the-radar finds of the year.