(April 2024)


REVIEW: Music Review: Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams sing about the power of love on All This Time

Artist: Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

Album: All This Time

By: Steven Wine

Drawing from personal experience, husband-and-wife duo Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams sing about first-rate romance on their latest collaborative album, All This Time.

Their marriage of 35 years — he from New York City and she from Peckerwood Point, Tennessee — had a partnership that was “love at first note,’’ as Williams describes it, and has blossomed musically with the release of four duet albums. All This Time is the best yet, a rousing and romantic testament to the power of love both forever and fleeting.

Campbell wrote seven of the 10 songs and produced the set, which will be released Friday. It’s rooted in his relationship with Williams and also the traditions of classic country, honored lustily on a cover of George Jones ’ “That’s All It Took.”

Nostalgia and sentimentality are leavened with humor, swagger, keening harmonies and Campbell’s guitar. An understated elegance distinguishes his playing even when he makes like Eric Clapton or serves up Southern rock riffs, and the mood is such that laughter accompanies his solo on the funky “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

The backing band includes Little Feat pianist Bill Payne and Levon Helm, who recorded the drum part for “That’s All It Took” shortly before he died in 2012. Stately arrangements frame songs about flirting, fidelity and the fragile nature of it all.

Campbell’s life-threatening bout with COVID-19 in 2020 looms on the ballad “A Little Better,” an ode to simple joy. A stomping duet on the Julie Miller-penned “I Love You” serves as the emotional centerpiece, if only because of the title.

Other highlights include the inviting ballad “Ride with Me,” the New Orleans-style shuffle “I Think About You,” and the honky-tonkin’ working-class anthem “We Done Earned It,” which rhymes “steak supreme” with “château du vin.”

Campbell and Williams swap lead vocals and sound terrific singing together, which should be no surprise. After all, harmony is what a good marriage is about.