Praise And Blame (2010)
Tom Jones began a trio of retrospective, digging into his musical roots albums with this enjoyable mix of gospel and blues. His voice, even as he ages, is warm, soulful and inspiring. I do have to wonder, though, when he produces material as credible and as good as this if he didn’t waste those “Vegas Years” in the seventies somewhat. Jones has come to accept he has the blues at a late time in life. What’s new pussycat? Tom’s got the blues, that’s what. Incidentally, it’s Booker T. Jones on piano and organ. I could put all the tracks down as highlights, they all bristle with a vibrant, raw fervour.
Spirit In The Room (2012)
This is a collection of largely acoustically-backed folk songs all given the glorious Jones soulful treatment. Covers are from Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, Odetta and Paul Simon among others. Electric blues occurs on occasions, though, most notably on the searingly bleak The Soul Of A Man and the equally chunky Bad As Me. A lot of the album reminds me of Chris Rea’s journeys into the blues on the Blue Guitars project.
Long Lost Suitcase (2015)
This is another fine album, this time concentrating on folky and r'n'b covers, some of which are in the vein of Bruce Springsteen's Seeger Sessions, some are Delta blues interpretations others just drip with a muscular sixties bluesy, r'n'b attitude. Jones, as if it would ever not be the case, let's be honest, copes with everything the songs throw at him like the big old Welsh, coal-fired powerhouse that he is. The man has the blues running through his veins, along with a huge dose of instinctive soul too. Top notch stuff.