Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kings of Rhythm still feel Ike Turner's presence

Ike Turner may have left this world when he passed away late last year, but apparently he isn't quite ready to leave the recording studio, according to the drummer of his backing band, the Kings of Rhythm.

Drummer Bill Ray said the band felt Turner's presence during a recording session at a home studio in Santa Monica, California, in late July.

"Ike made an appearance in a very bizarre way. We were recording a song called "After Hours' -- one of Ike's favorite songs," Ray told Blues Music "There's a part where Mack Johnson screams 'Turn out the lights and call the law." When that part arrived the lights in the studio mysteriously dimmed and we all thought the engineer did it but there was no one near the light switches."

Ray continued: "We all instantly knew who it was -- Ike. I don't find that far-fetched at all, as the same people who were in the house when he passed were on this session as well."

Despite Ike's "ghostly" practical joke, the Kings of Rhythm recovered to record about 10 songs. Ray said the session was "amazing" and should lead to a great album, although there are currently no plans for releasing the tracks. "Right now we are 'building it' in hopes that 'they' will come,'" he said.

The musicians, most of whom backed Turner on his Grammy-winning album, "Risin' with the Blues," were:

Seth Blumberg- Guitar
Armando Cepeda- Bass
Kevin Cooper - Bass
Leo Dombecki- Sax
Paulie Cerra- Sax
Mack Johnson- Trumpet
Paul Smith- Hammond
Ernest Lane- Piano
Bill Ray- Drums

Monday, August 04, 2008

B.B. King returns to the 1950s for his latest disc

The latest disc by the legendary B.B. King will return to the vintage sound of 1950s-era blues when "One Kind Favor" is released by Geffen Records on Aug. 26.

Producer T Bone Burnett and King have formed the type of blues band used by the King of the Blues back in the formative years of modern blues. Featured players include Dr. John on piano, Nathan East on stand up acoustic bass and Jim Keltner on drums. In addition, vintage studio conditions were reproduced at The Village Recoder in Los Angeles for the sessions.

The full track listing for One Kind Favor, along with the name of the artist who originally recorded the track, is:” See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” (Lemon Jefferson), “I Get So Weary” (T-Bone Walker), “Get These Blues Off Me” (Lee Vida Walker), “How Many More Years” (Chester Burnett), “Waiting For Your Call” (Oscar Lollie), “My Love Is Down” (Lonnie Johnson), “The World Is Gone Wrong” ( Walter Vinson, also known as Walter Jacobs, and Lonnie Chatmon, core members of the Mississippi Sheiks), “Blues Before Sunrise” (John Lee Hooker), “Midnight Blues” (John Willie “Shifty” Henry), “Backwater Blues” (Big Bill Broonzy), “Sitting On Top Of The World” (Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon) and “Tomorrow Night” (Lonnie Johnson).