Candi Staton
His Hands
Appreciation for Candi spiked recently with the reissue of her '70s country soul sides. A bout with alcohol and spousal abuse drove her to gospel and ministry. On her first secular recording in 20 years, the 63-year-old Staton's voice conveys pain and devotion as clearly as ever. By avoiding extremes of tone, she projects believable drama that clicks with country songs, even though the backing has that gritty Muscle Shoals, Alabama vibe. The title song, written by Will Oldham, moves from a difficult marriage to the touch of God without dropping a metaphor. Alongside chestnuts by Merle Haggard and Charlie Rich, four of her originals fare well. "I'll Sing a Love Song to You" has the grace and simplicity of a classic. Supported by a distinguished crew of admirers, the veteran makes a thrilling return to form.
—Doug Taylor

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