Album review: Various Artists, A Road Leading Home: Songs By Dan Penn and Others (Ace)


A companion-piece to the earlier Sweet Inspiration anthology of songs by Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham, A Road Leading Home features two dozen of Penn's songs co-written with other songwriters. They're responsible for several great songs here, including “You Left the Water Running” by Billy Young, and “Break Up the Party”, recorded by Jerry Lee's teenage sister Linda Gail Lewis. Penn's forte was Southern soul, and here his two most famous songs are covered in versions not totally shamed by the hits, Roy Hamilton's “Dark End of the Street” exuding tragic nobility, while Brenda Lee's “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” merits comparison with the Dusty of Dusty in Memphis.

Download: You Left the Water Running; Dark End of the Street; Do Right Woman, Do Right Man