Ronnie Milsap has quite unambiguously fallen under nostalgia's spell. The title of his new album, Summer #17, is an allusion to the halcyon days of youth. The cover art is a close-up of a vintage radio speaker. And besides a pair of misty-eyed, retro-style originals — the title cut and a re-recording of his country and pop hit "Lost in the Fifties Tonight" — the track list is populated with covers of familiar oldies, primarily doo-wop singles of the late '50s and soul of the '60s.
By revisiting some of the tunes that caught his ear as a student at North Carolina State School for the Blind — where he was diligent about his classical studies on piano, cello and clarinet, and furtive about working up such forbidden fare as the hillbilly, blues or gospel numbers he intercepted over the radio waves — Milsap has not only proven himself to be a septuagenarian still in strikingly supple voice, he's also reminded the world that he was never strictly a country artist.
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