It starts with the reassuring crack of ice and over the next 49 minutes, My Future Is My Past, the new album by New Orleans-based singer and guitarist Walter “Wolfman" Washington, delivers up a dizzying cocktail of blues, soul and jazz.
There’s Even Now, a duet with his old boss – the legendary Irma Thomas – that sounds like it’s been around for decades, Washington channelling John Lee Hooker as easily as Bobby Womack or Nat King Cole. What A Diff’rence A Day Makes – yes, that one – stripped back to just upright bass and easy charm.
The musicianship is deft and joyful. Guitar players will enjoy the solo on Steal Away, while fans of piano playing will be in their element on the gospel-soaked I Cried My Last Tear and the Fender Rhodes playing throughout.
Washington claims to be related to Guitar Slim, Lightnin’ Slim and Ernie K-Doe, and he cut his teeth playing with Lee Dorsey and Irma Thomas before recording a bunch of albums for Rounder records with his band The Roadmasters. My Future Is My Past – produced by Galactic's Ben Ellman and featuring drummer Stanton Moore – could take him to a different level.
(And if it's a bit too jazzy for you, we recommend the new album from Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, No Mercy In This Land. We're especially hooked on Love and Trust right now…)