Paul Kelly, Clairy Browne, Dan Sultan, Kira Puru, Vika And Linda Bull

"Paul Kelly Presents The Merri Soul Sessions"

(Gawdaggie); Soul

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Being the self assured songwriter that he is - unquestionably, one of Australia’s best and most loved - Paul Kelly decided on this latest outing to bring a soul-style revue of singers to perform his newies.

Enlisting a bunch of old mates of the ilk of Vika and Linda Bull and Dan Sultan to handle most of the vocal duties, as well as leaving a couple for himself, he’s put together a crack team of players and singers and come up with the goods yet again.

The album gets off to a strong start with Linda Bull steaming the pot on the slow burning Smells Like Rain and events proceed from there in like manner.

Sister Vika Bull tears it up with Sweet Guy, delivering an understated but direct emotional exploration of a heart done bad, while Kelly himself shows once more that he’s got a way with a melody and a natural knack for nailing it in one.

Recorded over a couple of weeks in a relaxed homespun atmosphere, the vibes are good, the friendship and smiles quite tangible.

This is music that stirs your soul, tickles your dance bone and spreads joy in your general direction.

Unpretentious and instantly enjoyable, it’s a treat from start to finish with not a flat spot in sight.

Hard not to like really.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.