Hal Ketchum - Awaiting Redemption | RECORD STORE DAY

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Throughout his career, Hal Ketchum has pitted his pushing, gritty roots rock against his pushing, wimpy singer-songwriter muse; his Lyle Lovett smarts against his Michael McDonald sensibility. On Awaiting Redemption the grit and the smarts win out most, thanks to soulful, skittering grooves (the title track), distressed blues licks ("When Blue Was Just a Color"), and a sense of spirituality that comes across more wise than preachy (a fine version of producer Stephen Bruton's great "Too Many Memories"). And while lines like "You let down your golden hair and I climbed into your garden" don't sing any better than they read, Ketchum usually pulls them off through a sheer commitment to their worth. One more argument for the importance of being earnest.