CD Review: Deep River by Richard Nelson

This short and straight to the point album really evokes the sounds of the deep south consistently and is a lovely tribute to that particular style of music. But at times it does feel slightly self-indulgent with the length of the tracks, cramming every idea possible in.

However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some memorable moments to be found on the album, which has been cleverly constructed to make it flow with ease.

One example is album opener ‘Deep River Blues’, which has a slow and seductive vibe about it that really sums up what to expect from the rest of the album. It has also a relaxed feel about it that is helped by the gorgeous rhythm of the piece, making it enjoyable to listen to.

But there are also some really quirky and interesting moments as well, particularly on tracks such as ‘Transit’ and ‘Wake Up Jacob’ . It gives another layer to the album, revealing a more experimental side, yet at the same time it feels as though it is lacking in substance.

However, if you listen to it all the way through it does put a smile on your face such as ‘Old Country Stomp’ that seems like a joyful celebration. On ‘Wake Up Jacob’ too there is plenty of energy and enthusiasm to appreciate.

There is no faulting the performances throughout, which are strong but I feel that there is an underlying lack of confidence in the music that is being performed.

While it is an interesting album to listen to on many levels, it feels as though it is lacking in conviction or purpose, making it difficult  to see what direction all those involved want to take the music in. There are certainly plenty of good ideas but they do sound as though they are only half formed which is a pity.


The album will be released on September 8th on Heliotrope Records. 

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