I can’t think of a better album to start your lazy Sunday morning with than The Country Side Of Esther Phillips. Just as you brew a dark roast or in my case a strong matcha tea, the needle drops on the first grooves and the opening notes starts drawing you in. The music is mellow, bluesy and lush at moments but serves merely as a backdrop to showcase the most important instrument of all, Esther’s wonderful raspy voice. The topics on The Country Side Of Esther Phillips are quite heavy, but Esther is able to carry you to a state of absolute peace oblivious to all contemplations of yesterday.
I was able to buy this amazing album through someone who inherented a collection of records from her father and will always be thankful when putting the needle on. The Country Side Of Esther Phillips will hardly be mentioned let alone be recognised as a corner stone amongst her work. That might just be true but having listened extensively to her work for Kudus, her voice never sounded more intimate.
Favourite track? The blues of “No Headstone On My Cornerstone” with hauntingly beautiful harmonies, but I’m sure you will agree that Esther’s outstanding performance throughout the album will keep you captivated from beginning to the end.
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