If Booker T. Jones’ latest instrumental effort “sounds more like rock ’n’ roll than Southern soul, that’s because it is,” said Ben Greeman in The New Yorker. On his first album in 20 years, the Memphis organist—who headed up the Stax house band Booker T. and the MGs—taps into a love for rock that’s been dormant for decades. Jones has always written on guitar, and seems at home playing alongside Neil Young and the Drive-By Truckers, who back him on this swampy, “straight-up rock” record, said Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune. A cover of OutKast’s “Hey Ya” shows how his Hammond B3 can be as commanding as an amazing voice. But too often the heavy drone of guitars makes you hanker for the “spaciousness” and loose grooves that defined his best work. Potato Hole ignites “enough fire to prove that Jones can still bring the heat,” said Eric R. Danton in The Hartford Courant. This might not stack up to his finest work, but tackling a hard-charging rock album so late in his career clearly indicates that this soul man isn’t through adding to his legacy.
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