WOLFMOON – Wolfmoon

Album: Wolfmoon

Artist: Wolfmoon

Label: Alive

Release Date: October 01, 2013

Wolfmoon 10-1

www.alive-totalenergy.com

BY MICHAEL TOLAND

Part of Alive’s ongoing series of reissues dedicated to the prolific work of Swamp Dogg, Wolfmoon is one of the more enigmatic recordings in the once-and-future Jerry Williams, Jr.s’ discography. According to Dogg’s liner notes, singer Wolfmoon (AKA Tyrone “Little Tommy” Thomas) was one of the most difficult artists he ever worked with – and one of the most talented. Possessing a voice raw enough for Stax with just enough finesse for Motown, Wolfmoon sounds genetically engineered to be a soul singer, and Dogg takes advantage of that voice with a set of some of his finest material. “If He Walked Today,” “Cloak of Many Colors” and “What is Heaven For” dig deep into a spiritual bag; “The Artist” posits the Supreme Being as a loving painter, sort of a divine Bob Ross. “My Kinda People” evokes its 1969 origins in its utopian vision of brotherhood, an aesthetic continued in one of the most soulful readings of “If I Had a Hammer” ever sung.

 

Not everything works – the version of “People Get Ready” starts wonderfully but soon devolves into a seemingly endless spoken word rap full of “let’s all get together and love one another” platitudes, while “God Bless” turns its list of people to deserving of divine grace – Donald Duck, Huckleberry Hound – into farce (which, given Dogg’s sense of humor, may have been the point). Occasional missteps aside, though, Wolfmoon’s sole LP is a marvelous expression of rough-hewn, soulful beauty.

DOWNLOAD: “Cloak of Many Colors,” “What is Heaven For,” “If I Had a Hammer”

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