VOICES Notes and news on New Releases
22 FEB 12 DAVID SHANNON
With a career as diverse and storied as that of Carole King, it's no wonder that her 1979 album Touch The Sky (re-issued on Concord Records) comes across as a confection of signature folk, country wistfulness, beautiful ballads, and even hooky funk. Although the album fared less well than some of King's hit records-it reached #104 on the charts-it warrants a second look, for no other reason than to simply enjoy the unique timbre of her voice, the depth of her songwriting, and the stellar musicianship from her studio band.
Perhaps no other songs on the album showcase King's vocal talent like "Dreamlike I Wander," a yearning, country torch song with a lingering melody, and "You Still Want Her," a meditative and powerfully lyrical number in which the guitar and piano take as much of the spotlight as King's voice. The more upbeat tunes offer a fine complement to these ballads, and carry on the wandering theme that runs through the release. "Walk With Me (I'll Be Your Companion)" is a bit of late-'70s pop that ages wonderfully, while "Move Lightly" uses a crisp, funky bass line to undergird King's soaring rasp.
King has a ton of notable support on Touch The Sky, such as Reese Wynans of Double Trouble and Captain Beyond fame on piano and keyboards, legendary guitarist and session player Leo LeBlanc, blues/rock guitar-for-hire Dave Perkins, and a host of others. The weight of these heavy hitters provides ballast for King's floating vocals and rounds out a compelling album.