The Band of Heathens
A Message From the People Revisited
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Nov. 23, 2018
No doubt Band of Heathens means well, but remaking Ray Charles' 1972 album A Message From the People amidst our current social climate is, well, problematic. The sincere tribute feels less like the purported salve to our rancorous times than an appropriation of struggle by five Texas easy-country rockers lacking Charles' distinctive wail and moan. In execution, the band delivers superbly polished country funk, but the message is refined from actual social stakes. "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma," indeed.