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Daniel Lanois – Heavy Sun

June 21, 2021

I have been digging this album since it was digitally released in mid March. It was recently released on vinyl for Record Store Day (2021 Drop One). It was number one on my wish list and I got up at 5:00 AM on a Saturday morning to improve my chances. Success!

Daniel Lanois is a brilliant producer and musician. His production credits include: Bob Dylan, U2, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Emmylou Harris, and Robbie Robertson (all masterpieces).

This is Lanois’ take on gospel music featuring the Hammond organ of Johnny Shepherd, sometime organist at Zion Baptist in Shreveport, Louisiana. Not surprising, Lanois does not play it straight. His take on gospel music has hints of reggae and electronica. As the kids like to say: pretty dope. I am no expert on gospel music and I am a pretty secular dude, but every time I get a taste of gospel I love it – I love Dylan’s gospel phase for example.

Per Lanois: “We want to lift people’s spirits with this music. It’s so easy to feel isolated right now, but we want everyone to feel included in what we’re doing. Our goal was to be a force for good with these songs. We wanted to remind people not to let the world steal their joy, to remind them that even during a global pandemic, it’s our responsibility to protect our spirits and find ways to keep on dancing, keep on singing, keep on teaching, keep on loving.”

The Heavy Sun quartet is Lanois (vocals, guitar, production), Rocco DeLuca (guitar, vocals), Johnny Shepherd (organ, vocals) and Jim Wilson (bass, vocals). For me the star of the show is Johnny Shepherd’s organ and Lanois’s arrangements and production. This is a really wonderful oddball masterpiece – highly recommend! This will be on this year’s top ten list for sure.

From → Music Reviews

One Comment
  1. Remembering why I come here. You make it sound good. Another listen for this.

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