Perdido Records DOR-1801 ★★★★
It’s always a pleasure to hear new music by the Memphis-born, London-based singer, songwriter and pianist Charlie Wood and Tomorrow Night is no exception.
Presenting a perfectly balanced set of originals and covers united by their raw emotional power, the 12-song collection is both a celebration and a tribute, with Wood looking back and distilling all of his musical experiences and influences from his 15-year-plus residency at the King’s Palace Cafe on Beale Street, Memphis, where guests included the likes of B.B. King, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, Joey DeFrancesco and more. Channelling Memphis soul and blues to moving effect, with arrangements that range from the weightily brass-laden to the pleasingly intimate, the album showcases its creator’s knack for penning striking originals that linger long in the memory. Standouts include the title-track, with which the album bursts into life, the deliciously in-the-pocket groove of ‘The Good Stuff’, plus the tender ‘Lullaby’. The judiciously chosen covers include a soulful ‘How Can You Mend A Broken Heart’, penned by Barry and Robin Gibb and most famously covered by Al Green on Lets Stay Together, B.B. King’s rambunctious ‘Never Make Your Move Too Soon’ (“One love ahead, One love behind, One in my arms and one on my mind”), plus a funky reworking of the classic Howlin’ Wolf blues ‘Killing Floor’.