One of Tony Joe's finest albums. Wait 'til you hear that las
D. Stuart | Auckland NZ | 05/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Going back and listening again to Tony Joe White's prodigious output from his early years, one is amazed at the depth of his talent as a guitarist, a singer and as a songwriter. After a series of albums that explored his love of deep Southern Blues, TJW took a warmer, more acoustic turn with Home Made Icecream. A lot of this is the back porch music he clearly loves - and here he is surrounded by fine session men who, if I recall from my old vinyl copy, include a drummer who wouldn't play until he'd read the lyrics...which as Tony Joe noted: "Is all right by me." The album flows beautifully, kicking off with a little rocker - Saturday Night in Oak Grove Louisiana (Tony Joe always had a thing about vehicles - little details like fender skirts - and here its the fibreglass mufflers on his pickup truck) and featuring among other things a gorgeous, lightly picked acoustic guitar and harp instrumental: the title track of the album. There's a ballad - Ol Mother Earth - but the standout is the last track which blows in like a cold breeze off a lake. "Did Somebody Make a Fool Out of You" is among his best ever examples of songwriting, singing and guitar playing. They all come together in a plangent, soulful blues number which Tony Joe double tracks perfectly, singing a close harmony that adds a plaintive cry to the lyrics. The centrepiece of the tune is an acoustic guitar solo that in 30 years of playing has never, for me, lost its power and depth. This man is not afraid to let silence and white spaces do some of the talking. It makes my spine shiver, and if the album starts all summery, by the end you can feel winter closing in. It is an awesome way to end a beautiful album. Buy it."