Another potent collection in the vein of 2010's back to the roots hit Praise & Blame.
Spirit In The Room comes on the back of a 7-inch of Howlin' Wolf's Evil that Jones, now 71, recorded with Jack White. All of which makes perfect sense. As Johnny Cash showed with his American Recordings series, rather than trying to relive old glories or sound spuriously modern, it's an elder statesman's prerogative to survey the musical landscape, hand-pick songs old and new and give them the benefit of his experience. The grain and gravitas of Jones' voice is perfectly suited to this diverse material, all unfussily arranged by Ethan Johns. On The Low Anthem's Charlie Darwin it's haloed by ecclesiastical harmonies, but on the raucous Bad As Me he strides fearlessly into Tom Waits's junkyard. And he completely inhabits Blind Willie Johnson's Soul Of A Man, a tremendous vocal.
- Mike Barnes