FRIENDS ALONG THE WAY: DUETS & TRIOS
That theme of friendship has carried me along through all my career and has led me to this, my current duets and trios project….
Friends Along The Way.
I have always kept a historical sense about my music. I reach backwards to the roots rather than forward for my inspiration. It has served me well and kept audiences dancing and enjoying my music for many decades now.
One of my most inspirational musical projects was recording my CD/DVD Big Easy Boogie with the Fats Domino band in New Orleans. I got to work with Fats’ producer and co-writer of all his great hits-Dave Bartholomew which was an incredible honor and inspiration. Earl Palmer, the most recorded drummer in the world played drums with me, and Herb Hardesty, Fats’ long time saxman. All became close friends of mine and I value that more than anything thing else in my musical career.
That theme of friendship has carried me along through all my career and has led me to this, my current duets and trios project….Friends Along The Way.
My Keeper Of The Flame CD in which I enlisted many of my musical friends, who were and are Blues Legends to play duets with me, also nourished it along. Included were Blues Masters- John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry pianoman- Johnnie Johnson, Earl King, James Cotton, and Fats Domino sax man- Lee Allen.
I was honored to record with them and as always learn by playing with each one. Blues is a handed down tradition, from one generation to the next, which is how it is passed on and kept alive. The true blues men and women know that and I was so fortunate to be taken under their wing.
With Cyril Neville
With Joe Louis Walker
With Elvin Bishop
With Ruthie Foster
With Marcia Ball
With Kenny Neal
What you hear on these tracks is a simple duo or trio of musicians each expressing their innermost feelings and emotions through their instrument….the voice, piano, guitar, harmonica, tambourine…anything that can communicate the feelings, the rhythms of life to you our audience. Without which there is also no music.
With Friends Along The Way, I am further along in my career. and wanted to get a chance to play with some of my contemporaries in an intimate and mostly unplugged environment. The piano as an instrument lends itself to this format so perfectly. I can play rhythm, lead, bass, and sing while accompanying some of my friends, who happen to be today’s blues and musical greats. It is a great instrument for bringing out the best of these awesome artists who are keeping the blues flame burning for generations to come.
Some say music is a gift. It is a gift, not only to the person who performs it but to the world. The musicians you hear in these songs have spent a lifetime doing what they love to do….play music. That is what I wanted to do when I first heard that tinklin’ piano, and in these duets have achieved my highest goals-to play with some of the best musicians in the world, and they just happen to be my friends….
Enjoy… it is our gift to you.