I’m traveling back in time a couple of months again for another album I don’t want to overlook.
It’s from a veteran musician (singer, songwriter, harp and piano player) who spent decades creating music for others, and with the launch of his “Why I Choose to Sing the Blues” album in 2016, has returned to remind us of his special talents.
Procell is a soulful, big-voiced singer who knows his way around a lyric (he wrote or co-wrote all the original songs here), surrounded himself with excellent musicians, and turned over the producing pleasures to talented bluesman Zac Harmon, who also calls Catfood Records his musical home, and who contributes tough guitar work.
Not incidentally, Catfood owner and bassist Bob Trenchard wrote three of the songs with Purcell. Four were written with Grammy winner Terry Abrahamson, who’s known for his work with Muddy Waters, and has been Procell’s writing partner for the last 10 years.
The result of all this talent is a very tasty album, filled with exuberant music, even in its more tender moments (“Color of an Angel” and the passionate closer “Bittersweet Memory” are fine examples of that combination).
From the lyrically delicious up-tempo opener, “Skin in the Game,” through the sharp, horn-laced title track and the toughness of “The Contender,” the yearning of Procell-harp led “Broken Promises,” and the slyness of “A Tall Glass of You” (“I’ll have tall glass of you, and leave the bottle…”), this album offers a thoroughly satisfying session filled with soulful vocals, fine-tuned lyricism, and precise musical production that pulls it all together.
Give Derrick Procell a listen. You’ll be glad you did.
Here’s “Skin in the Game”: