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Calvin Richardson: Facts of Life: The Soul of Bobby Womack

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Clean, sweet soul is not exactly what Bobby Womack was known for. But under Calvin Richardson's gentle tenor, Womack is pleasantly reimagined on this tribute to the undersung icon. Don't be fooled by the cigar on the cover; Richardson's easy voice glides and soars over this tribute album's live orchestrations on such cuts as "Daylight" and "That's The Way I Feel About 'Cha." Recorded live in one week, Muscle Shoals-style, by producer Tres Gilbert, the band keeps the organic project moving along. Richardson's commitment to traditional interpretations of this popular material highlights Womack's skill as a lyricist and arranger on par with Barry White, Leon Ware and Willie Hutch — a fact often lost because of the prominence of Womack's unique vocal ability. Try as Richardson might — and he tries hard here — he just doesn't have that enviable problem. (Shanachie) 3 stars out of 5

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