(Indigo Incorporated) For a band that totally revamped classic hits like The Small Faces’ `Tin Soldier’, Them’s `Here Comes The Night’ and The Rolling Stones’ `Under My Thumb,’ refashioning them as hit songs in their own right, it isn’t a stretch to envision lead vocalist Kenny Shields releasing an entire record of classic covers. “Letting Go” is just such a collection. Produced by band guitarist Jeff Neill, Shields tackles a wide range of material from 50’s torch songs like Brenda Lee’s `I’m Sorry’, to Ben E King’s `Stand By Me’ and the Eagles `Best Of My Love’, staying faithful to the song’s original roots yet supplying a distinctive Kenny Shields/Streetheart trademark to the arrangements.
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There’s a purity in Shields’ vocals that totally transforms tracks like John Lennon’s `Julia’ and Rod Stewart’s `I Don’t Wanna Talk About It’ into a whole new production while Neill’s own guitar work and band keyboardist Darryl Guthiel add their input to the instrumental arrangements on tracks like The Bee Gees’ `To Love Somebody’ and Los Bravos’ `Black Is Black.’ It doesn’t come as a surprise that `Letting Go’s highlight is a stunning cover of the Stones’ `Angie’ which Shields totally re-invents (assisted by a stunning guitar solo from Neill). Letting Go is an epic record topped off by one new Streetheart song; a melodic Shields-Guthiel collaboration `Wanna Be With You’ which suggests the band still possess a creative spark of their own. The scary thing is that Shields and Co could reel off dozens of such cover collections; Shields’ Great Canadian Songbook, the potential is quite imposing. Why this record is not a major label release is beyond me!