Philly City Paper
That place where blues and gospel meet, in performers like the Reverend Gary Davis, is where Kelly Joe Phelps’ Brother Sinner & the Whale (Black Hen Music) finds its home. If only Davis and other street preachers had enjoyed such clear recordings in their day. Phelps’ voice is like honeyed gravel, subtly, softly bending notes in the service of the sacred. Secular songs are scarce in this collection of originals — even the flashy instrumentals have gospel-inspired titles like “Spit Me Outta the Whale."