Various Artists 39Dark Was The Night39 2009: Mouthwatering Feast

Various Artists 39Dark Was The Night39

a mouth-watering feast of top-quality sounds…
Unfortunately, a sizable chunk of the running order is taken over by cover versions of wildly varying quality. Whilst Antony and Bryce Dessner stun with a graceful take on the traditional folk lament ‘I Was Young When I Left Home’, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings prove there’s life left yet in the retro-soul racket with a vibrant take on Shuggie Otis’s ‘Inspiration Information’ and the Kronos Quartet offer a suitably spooky rendition of the ancient Blind Willie Johnson blues that gives the comp its name, a few of the covers carry an unappetising whiff of hastily assembled single B-sides.
But only a fool would question to good intentions of all those involved, not to mention the remarkable strike rate of what has to be one of the – if not the – most remarkable cavalcade of talent ever assembled for a good cause. Had all participants been firing on all cylinders, ‘Dark Was The Night’ would’ve been an unstoppable juggernaut. As it is, it stands as a truly convincing reason – should one be required – to donate some of your hard-earned for a worthwhile cause.

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