Shelley King

Welcome Home (Lemonade Records)

Texas Platters

Shelley King

Welcome Home (Lemonade Records)

A new Shelley King album is always occasion to celebrate and guaranteed to spin at least a couple of songs into the stratosphere. Welcome Home isn't just a pleasant sounding homily; it's back-to-back killer tracks start to finish, with songsmith King's full-custom gospel voice matched with fellow co-producers and Subdudes John Magnie, Tim Cook, and Steve Amedée. Hers is such a divine rendering of compositional craft that the lengthy wait between albums is worth it. She's the player who can hit all the balls, from bluesy balladry ("It's Starting to Rain") and gospel ("Welcome Home") to zydeco ("Everything's All Right") and country swamp pop ("Asking Too Much") with righteous force and, here, spare instrumentation that only enhances the music. One of these days, some singer will make Shelley King a wealthy woman. Meanwhile, her sweet Texas honey soul is still ours to savor.

***.5

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