Vanthology, a Tribute to Van Morrison
Similar in concept to last year’s Hey, Bo Diddley, a Tribute! that featured 15 of Bo’s songs performed by as many blues artists, Vanthology presents 15 soul and blues players with their takes on some of Morrison’s best-known songs. Morrison has long paid homage to blues and soul, beginning some 40 years ago with his band Them, so it’s only fitting to spotlight his music in this context. Producer/guitarist Jon Tiven, who leads the band—which includes New Orleans piano man Henry Butler—notes that “Van’s songs were not just perfect songs, they were perfect records. How do you beat his ‘Gloria’? The answer is, you don’t—you just do it differently.” Things get off smoothly with Little Milton doing “Tupelo Honey,” get jacked up with Bettye Lavette’s “Real Real Gone,” and reach an apogee with Sir Mack “Mustang Sally” Rice’s rave-up on “Gloria.” Very solid goods at hand. Look for it!