Review by Thom Jurek - All Music Guide 4 stars / 5
Over the last decade, singer and songwriterhas kept busy as a record producer on both sides of the Atlantic, helming sessions by and , among others, as well as touring with her own band. Her return to recording is, at least on surface level, a curious one. 's desire to cut a duet record has been germinating for decades, but the time was never right until now. She rounded up a host of friends, bandmates, and some of her favorite singers for .
Though there isn't a weak cut in bunch, there are some soaring highlights. Opener "You Can Come Cryin' to Me" with(and killer fuzzy lap steel from ) is a case in point. 's high alto is still rich and full in the harmony and gets right under the grain of the lyric. The pair also delivers a fine rendition of 's "Stringin' Me On." and team on 's "Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow the Sun)."
The crackling energy and dramatic longing in the songwriter's lyric are beautifully delivered, and's lead guitar work stings, to boot. 's "She Don't Care About Time" is a song close to 's heart, as Clark was the late songwriter's duet and recording partner. This reading with up front, fueled 's gorgeous mandolin and former 's electric 12-string (which reprises 's "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" solo in the break), is near awe-inspiring. understands the truth in a song no matter how obscure. She and deliver 's moving "Still Waters" with passion and swagger.
She andprove excellent singing partners on both 's tender, broken love song "The First in Line" and 's pop/rock anthem, "Upon a Painted Ocean." makes a return appearance in a slippery, breezy reading of 's "8:05." Set closer "Til the Rivers All Run Dry" is a nugget (written by ) delivered beautifully by up front with bringing the harmony. It ends the set by seamlessly melding folk, rock, and country. is a welcome return for , but that's not all.
With its direct, kinetic production, compelling song choices, and inspired performances, it is a blueprint for future duet recordings.