Rich in Love

I’d never heard of Colin Linden before and it’s a mystery to me as this Canadian guitarist/singer has played on nearly 400 records (with everyone from Bruce Cockburn to Bob Dylan). His trio, The Rotting Matadors, consists of bassist John Dymond and drummer Gary Craig, who provide superb support on Rich in Love’s 12 tracks. “Knob and Tube” leads off the all-original program with Linden’s rousing mandolin supporting a series of electrical metaphors—e.g., “I am the pole, you are the line, got electricity running fine.” Guests include Charlie Musselwhite, whose harmonica lends atmosphere to the anguished “The Hurt” and Reese Wyans, whose piano helps brighten up “No More Cheap Wine,” because as we all know, “Life’s too short to drink [it].” On the title track, he sings, “My baby used to cry, cry, cry while I was sleeping/now I’m going down, down, down to find some healing … there’ll never be nobody but you,” and his stunning slide guitar eloquently evokes his misery. A rather moody effort that’s more than redeemed by his singing and playing.