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“Shirley adds about the band, ”those guys just played live, they just came in and played, it was mind numbingly incredible to be in the studio when that happens, the band were so great.”Lullaby of the Leaves, originally recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, was one of the lesser known songs on 1964’s Hello Dolly and like with how they approached Strange Fruit on Seesaw, they transformed the song into a delicate but brooding and cinematic offering.“For me I’m able to explore the kind of music I have always admired from afar,” reveals Bonamassa.“But you don’t want to hear me singing Ella Fitzgerald…” he explained as Beth joins in.
“We have tracks like that in which, it was such a noisy jam in the studio, and I love that track, the energy in it.” Shirley enthuses.I can feel the vibrations, it changes the whole thing.”“Kevin really gets that that,” she continues. It just works the best, in the old old days, that’s how they did it, bad ass singers and bad ass musicians would have a couple of hours to get a whole record done or whatever it was they were doing and that was it, it was time to go.”One of the key aspects of the sessions is to push everyone as much as possible. “They are always out of their comfort zone in the studio, this session especially wasn’t a comfortable session,” Shirley reveals. Sitting On Top of The World is a stone cold classic and has been recorded by some of the world’s most iconic artists; Ray Charles, Howlin’ Wolf, B. King, Cream and the Grateful Dead have all stamped their mark on it.Here it has a swirling duel from Bonamassa’s searing guitar and Wynan’s keys whilst Hart’s voice helps propel the song through the stratosphere.She is an edgy, no-holds-barred soul singer from Los Angeles California, and he is a top-notch shredding blues guitarist from Upstate New York.
Together, Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa are a powerful duo and one of the best in blues-rock music.
With producer extraordinaire Kevin ‘The Caveman’ Shirley (Joe Bonamassa, Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Rush) back at the helm, the result is the stunning rollercoaster that digs deep into the soul catalogue where they honour but re-imagine songs from Edgar Winter, Etta, James, Ike & Tina Turner/Steve Marriot, Ella Fitzgerald, Lil’ Green, La Vern Baker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lucinda Williams and Waldeck.
Each one having the majestic heart and soul that Beth and Joe bleed on each record.
We try and find a different spin on it, originally it was about trying to find some songs that people didn’t know at all and bring them back to people’s attention.”One such song, was a Joe suggestion, the album opener Give It Everything You Got taken from 1971s Edgar Winter’s White Trash album, with its hard rock meets Stax infused sound, the band deliver a formidable performance.
“I don’t think that’s a song a lot of people know, it’s an old soul classic but it’s not really amongst the pantheon of the ones you expect,” says Shirley “One of the things Jeff Beck had said to me once that I thought was so wonderful was” explains Hart.
Recorded in 5 days at Studio at the Palms, Las Vegas in August 2016 with some of the finest musicians around, they have once again recalled some familiar names in Anton Fig (Drums/Percussion), Ron Dziubla (Saxophone), and Lee Thornburg (Horn Arrangements/Trumpet/Trombone) and welcomed in Reese Wynans (Keyboards), Michael Rhodes (Bass), Rob Mc Nelley (Rhythm Guitar), Paulie Cerra (Saxophone), Mahalia Barnes (Backing Vocals), Jade Macrae (Backing Vocals) and Juanita Tippins (Backing vocals).