Heaven Magazine (Holland)
If Phelps lost any of his listeners with his rather experimental, instrumental Western Bell (2009), he can win them all back easily with this new album. Phelps returns to his roots: the country and gospel blues. All twelve numbers, including two instrumentals, have been inspired by Bible texts which Phelps has meticulously added to his website. His own lyrics are worthwhile as well, with very few words he can create a beautiful atmosphere, as in Hard Time They Never Go Away: Cold, long and weary; the winter’s gone dead./ Busted up ol’ overcoat, coverin’ my head. But most of the praise should go to his great singing and his marvelous guitar playing, which echoes the sounds of Mississippi John Hurt and Fred MacDowell. Phelps has no equal when it comes to slide technique – the synchronised singing with his slide playing is impressive. Just listen to Talkin’ to Jehova and the instrumental Brother Pilgrim. A very strong album, recorded in mono, possibly to reinforce the old timey character of the music.