It struck me when I was listening to “Under A Texas Sky” just how much of the music I review on this site is best described as “timeless”, and how much better that is than the music that is “of its time.”

Earlier tonight I was on Youtube playing a mate at work Creedence Clearwater’s “Fortunate Son” and I said to him “this came out in 1969 and I swear to you if it came out tomorrow it’d still be one of the best songs you’d ever here.” And that’s the point. The classics never date.

That sort of is the point of “Under A Texas Sky” too. These five songs are subtitled: “Celebration of The Many Stars from the Lone Star State”. Which is Jarrod Dickenson‘s way of paying homage to those who he followed.

Because although he lives in Brooklyn these days, Dickenson is from Waco (the original home of Dr. Pepper for goodness sake – the nicest drink in the world) and he follows in these Texan footsteps.

Beginning with a glorious bass heavy bluesy strut of “Uptown” by Roy Orbison, the superb band that he has sometimes on tour (to be fair I’ve seen him do acoustic gigs too and he’s just as adept) is right to the fore – the magnificent vocals of The Ward Sisters are glorious here.

Esther Phillips’ “Try Me” takes a more soulful turn, and the superb old-time (timeless, maybe?) guitar melds with the piano brilliantly, while Willie Nelson and Ray Charles (and like it says on the notes here, yes Ray isn’t from Texas, but should be celebrated at every opportunity) “Seven Spanish Angels” stomps and whips up a storm as well as having some stunning Pedal Steel from JP Ruggieri.

Best of all, to these ears at any rate, is Doug Sahm’s “I’m Glad For Your Sake (But Sorry For Mine)” turned into a real 50s style rock n roll ballad, and as someone who has always been enthralled by Elvis, Little Richard and just about all the others, the doo-wop nature of this will do just fine.

It finishes with Guy Clark’s “Dublin Blues” and sees JD in his more acoustic mood and the nature of the song, cracked and broken, really lends itself to the vibe here.

A covers EP on the back of such a brilliant record as “Ready The Horses” is a bold and interesting move, but it proves what a great interpreter of songs Dickenson is too, as well as proving my old hobby-horse: a great song is a great song – however its done.

It’s because they’re timeless, you see.

Rating 8.5/10

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