Album: Kelly Joe Phelps, Brother Sinner & the Whale (Black Hen Music)

In which the Portland singer-guitarist "re-examines his Christian roots" and goes back to basics: songs for solo guitar and voice, churning through the undergrowth covering his doubting sensibility; an intensely technical examination of the gospel impulse through blues structure, sung with a warm, fuzzy tone but in that slightly detached, artful way.

John Fahey as Pilgrim Father. Not for the faint-hearted, nor those offended by religion. Often brilliant.