Cat Power & Dirty Delta Blues, with Appaloosa
Cat Power kicks off her new CD, Jukebox (Matador), with her remake of John Kander & Fred Ebb's standard "Theme from New York, New York," but given the track's sultry, Stax-y R&B makeover and coolly rumbling keyboards, perhaps she should call her version "Memphis, Memphis." She recorded her previous album, 2006's The Greatest, in the River City, where she collaborated with former Al Green guitarist Teenie Hodges and the Memphis Rhythm Band. This time around, she's backed by Dirty Delta Blues — which includes Dirty Three drummer Jim White and Blues Explosion guitarist Judah Bauer — although Hodges makes a guest appearance, along with Muscle Shoals session man Spooner Oldham. Apart from the new "Song to Bobby" (by Power, Bauer and Matt Sweeney) and a grandly chilling remake of her own "Metal Heart," Jukebox is her second covers collection and once again demonstrates the wonderfully enchanting way she slows down and reworks classic tunes. Her take on Oldham's "Woman Left Lonely" is more intimate than Janis Joplin's version, and she gives an even more solemn spin to Joni Mitchell's "Blue" after bringing James Brown's "Lost Someone" all the way back to Memphis.
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