Who’s Hurting Now?

[Honest Jon’s]

Candi Staton earned the title “first lady of Southern soul” for the sides she recorded 40 years ago before turning to disco and then forsaking the secular for gospel music. Her sublime 2006 comeback record, His Hands, begged for a follow-up. Who’s Hurting Now? came out overseas in 2009, but label and licensing complications prevented its release stateside until now. Better late than never—it’s every bit as good as its predecessor. Staton is again working with Lambchop’s Mark Nevers as producer, and together the pair brushes up against the vintage Southern soul sound of her Muscle Shoals records while avoiding any hint of by-the-numbers retro. Witness her subdued, almost weary version of Mary Gauthier’s “Mercy Now,” her spectacular personification of loneliness with “Lonely Don’t,” or her eye-opening reworking of the Cox Family’s “Cry Baby Cry” that turns the acoustic country of the original into a smoldering fire. This is intense, timeless soul music. –Stuart Munro


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