Sean Costello
" We can Get Together "
Delta Groove

They Stole His Soul!, (03/26/08)

For Sean Costello's fifth outing he has found yet another new home at Delta Groove, which makes this his fourth label in just five lifetime recordings. I know the record industry is pretty tough right now, but "potentially" having to adapt to a new label's focus could take some re-engineering of an artist's career, stylistic approach, as well as one's songwriting, which seems to be the case on Costello's latest, We Can Get Together.

I really felt that Costello had found his inner soul on his previous self-titled 2005 CD on Artemis Records, where they utilized the excellent production skills of Steve Rosenthal, who brought in some very heavy cats to back a still very young Costello. A-team players like Jimmy Vivino, Levon Helm, Willie Weeks, and Steve Jordan really brought out the best in Costello, (especially from his deep Soul sounds), but unfortunately none of that superlative quality is evident here.

Eight of the eleven tracks on We Can Get Together were written or co-written by Costello, two are credited as traditional ("Going Home" and the closing "Little Birds"), and "Have You No Shame" is co-authored by fellow Atlanta native Rock legend Donnie McCormick.

The very few highlights only occur on Costello's well crafted and soulful "Don't Let Go" and Paul Linden and Costello's rocking "Feel Like I Ain't Got No Home," which has a bit of old Stones brashness to it, plus a touch of Rockabilly reminiscent of the Al Anderson-era of the good old NRBQ. Otherwise there is not much else on this recording that is remotely memorable or recommendable. What really bugged me is the fact that Costello's vocals are regularly way over the top and far too brash and harsh.

Perhaps for Costello's next recording he should think about reuniting the Artemis/Rosenthal production and musician crew that guided him so beautifully on his previous release, or how about placing a call to the always talented producer Scott Billington at Rounder? I will be patiently waiting Costello's next release, as I truly believe Costello has the all the goods to make his mark. Additionally, I strongly feel he just needs some appropriate guidance and a stronger producer. Given Costello's age, I would suspect that we will hear a lot more creative music in the future from him, and last but not least it will be interesting to see which label might be next in line for him. Stay tuned!

Bob Putignano: