It's been more than three decades since hitmaker Al Green held court over secular soul -- that is, since a former girlfriend, Mary Woodson, broke into Green's home, poured boiling grits on him in the shower, then shot herself in an adjacent bedroom. With his baby-making music on indefinite hiatus, Green took the tragedy as a sign from God, got ordained and spent the better part of the next thirty years preaching in the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis. And even though he's become known for occasional onstage flakiness, the resilient Reverend Green can still croon with the best of the R&B legends -- whether he's wrapping his silky tones around soft-edged classics like "Let's Stay Together" or "Love and Happiness," or delivering a mystical showstopper like "Take Me to the River." Reunited with longtime producer Willie Mitchell on his latest Blue Note release, Everything's OK, Green steps out from behind the pulpit to conduct another clinic in transcendent soul. Can we get an amen?
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