Cher turns up once again on the second of these unlikely compilations that bring together sounds from the American south from 1968-75 - "at the crossroads of rock, country and soul". And once again she's rubbing shoulders with Lynard Skynard (whose classic seven-minute epic Free Bird is included here), original swamp rocker Tony Joe White and serene Mississippi songbird Bobbie Gentry. And no one bends guitar strings, and makes instruments boing like rubber bands quite like them good folk from the delta swamps down South.

There sure are some woozy - albeit undercover - moments on Cher's otherwise staunch version of Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth, and Nashville country rockers Area Code 615 bend, slide, and thigh-slap up a storm on opener Ruby. And later on the album, Area Code's Devil Weed and Me is more otherworldly than swampy as it merges everything from an exotic eastern influence, haunting banjo, heavy fuzz rock and dreamy harmonica, into one mindblowing trip.

The album highlight though is Joe South's No Fence Around Me because it is the perfect marriage of rock, country and soul that's given a big Phil Spector-style spit and polish.

It's another great collection of songs for those who might like a little more soul with their country and rock.


Stars: 4/5

- TimeOut