Released on July 26, 2010, ‘Praise & Blame’ is the 39th studio album by Welsh musician Tom Jones, made up of largely little known devotional and gospel covers.
Track listing : 1.What Good Am I? (Bob Dylan) – 03:51 . 2.Lord Help (Jessie Mae Hemphill) – 03:41 . 3.Did Trouble Me (Susan Werner) – 04:15 . 4.Strange Things (Sister Rosetta Tharpe) – 03:00 . 5.Burning Hell (Bernard Bessman, John Lee Hooker) – 03.26 . 6.If I Give My Soul (Billy Joe Shaver) – 03:30 . 7.Don’t Knock (Pops Staples, Wesley Westbrooks) – 02:16 . 8.Nobody’s Fault but Mine (traditional) – 03:40 . 9.Didn’t It Rain (traditional) – 03:21 . 10.Ain’t No Grave (Claude Ely) – 03:08 . 11.Run On (traditional) – 03:58 .
Musicians : Tom Jones – Vocals (Background) . Ethan Johns – banjo, bass, guitar, percussion, producer, mellotron, omnichord, mixing . Booker T. Jones – piano, hammond B3 . Dave Bronze – bass guitar . Richard Causon – harmonium . B. J. Cole – guitar . Christopher – holland organ . Ian Jennings – bass guitar . Augie Meyers – farfisa organ . Benmont Tench – piano . Henry Spinetti – drums . Jeremy Stacey – drums . Allison Pierce – backing vocalist . Louis Price – backing vocalist . David Rawlings – backing vocalist . Camilla Staveley – backing vocalist . Emily Staveley – Vocals (Background) (Background) . Jessica Staveley – Vocals (Background) . Oren Waters – Vocals (Background) . Gillian Welch – Vocals (Background) . Terry Young – Vocals (Background) .
Production Produced by Ethan Johns . Billy Mims – assistant engineer . Dominic Monks – engineer, mixing . Mat Arnold – assistant engineer . Andy Kitchen – assistant engineer . Bob Ludwig – mastering .
Packaging : Marcus Grob – Portraits
Recorded December 2009 at Real World Studios, UK, Sunset Sound Recorders, Los Angeles .
Released on July 26, 2010 by Lost Highway.
Trouble is, for all that, Praise & Blame is not bad at all. There is little of the racked gravitas of Cash’s final studio sessions here, and not much of Plant and Krauss’s (and producer T-Bone Burnett’s) penchant for reanimating off-beat rarities. Aficionados tend to prefer revamped legends whispery and contrite, rather than vigorous and finger-clicking. Jones grew up on these hymns and spirituals; his enthusiasm for this project is palpable.
Praise and Blame is a triumph—a searing, immediate, brilliantly sung record that lays waste to these eleven semi-obscure songs of faith. Jones has done stripped-down before, as on the quasi-country hit “Green, Green Grass of Home” back in the ‘60s, but he’s never been this raw, and it’s a refreshing sound that fits him like extra-tight trousers.
A confusing release that will appeal little to those beyond Jones’ generation. It’s a gauche mix of church and the rock’n’roll chestnuts he grew up on. Outside Robert Plant, it’s hard to see who it’ll appeal to. A sincere reimagining of more arch songs – like Cash doing Hurt – would have grabbed our throats and hearts.