Soul artists have been covering country songs for as long as soul and country have been distinct styles. This compilation offers a good overview — mostly Southern soul, but also doo wop, soul-blues, Northern soul, and straightahead country — while providing a few surprises. Many of the expected suspects are present: Al Green (applying the vintage Hi sound to “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”) and the late Solomon Burke (roughing up Jim Reeves’s “He’ll Have to Go”), both of whom crossed over on numerous occasions; country-soul divas Candi Staton and Bettye Swann; Joe Simon, Joe Tex, and Esther Phillips, all of whom went country at full-album length. But it includes some lesser-known gems, too, led by a Tami Lynn cover of Loretta Lynn’s “Wings Upon Your Horns” that oozes remorse, and a stomping reinvention of “My Elusive Dreams” from Moses and Joshua Dillard. “Behind Closed Doors” is a fine introduction to this fascinating species of musical cross-pollination. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL "Wings Upon Your Horns"