Music » CD Reviews

Solomon Burke

Nashville (Shout Factory)


Legendary soul belter Solomon Burke never had Otis' or Aretha's crossover success; however, he has been making up for it in recent years. His '02 Grammy-winning comeback album, Don't Give Up on Me, found him reinterpreting tunes by Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, and Tom Waits. Last year's Make Do With What You Got followed a similar rocking-soul recipe. On his latest, Burke gives that formula a twist or, more precisely, a twang. Traveling to Nashville, Burke enlists the aid of esteemed producer-guitarist Buddy Miller and a host of Music City luminaries (Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Gillian Welch) to find that sweet spot where country and soul intersect.

But it's not the all-star guest list that makes this record special. It's Burke's magnificent voice. Although comfortably past 60, he still sings in a thoroughly commanding way. You can feel his heartbreak on numbers like the stirring "Valley of Tears" and the gospel-infused "Up on the Mountain." Yet Burke's also full of life when he's going "hog-crazy" on a loose, back-porch version of Springsteen's "Ain't Got You" or singing a duet with Patty Loveless on the rousing "You're the Kind of Trouble." Burke's trip to Nashville proves a memorable one.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.