After his Soul Deep collection of covers of the soul songs which had inspired his career as a singer, Jimmy Barnes decided to take his music in yet another direction with 1994's Flesh and Wood. Comprised of a mixture of covers and original materials this album perhaps allows Barnes to show his vocal capabilities better than any of his previous albums ever had.
Not having to compete with amplified instruments it's much easier to hear and appreciate Barnes gritty soulful vocals. Whether it's Barnes own It Will Be Alright or his emotive cover of The Band's classic The Weight. These stripped down acoustic arrangements show the best of what Barnes was and is capable of.
When you toss in a duet with Joe Cocker (Guilty) and some guest spots with Aussie rock luminaries like Diesel, Tommy Emmanuel, and Archie Roach. The mix ends up being an even more well-rounded and a delightful treat.
This is the kind of CD you play when you're drinking alone with friends like Johnny Walker, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Jose Cuervo, or Captain Morgan. Dim the lights, take a sip of your poison of choice and savor the cocktail of music and alcohol on its slow burn through your insides.
From start to finish its got that hot humid rainy night, chirping cricket, bottle of single malt Scotch feel to it.
The performances are relaxed but not restrained and completely unpretentious and the vocals are some of Barnes' strongest. The only truly weak moment is his cover of Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender which neither adds nor takes away anything from the original performance making it an unoffensive, if not bland, cover.
Highlights include Barnes cover of the Cold Chisel classic Flame Trees, Ride the Night Away, and his stirring duet with Deborah Conway-- Let It Go.