Al Green shares first new recording in a decade, is “only just getting started”
Soul legend Al Green has released first new recording in a decade, for the Amazon Music “Produced By” series. Like the previously released Margo Price and John Prine songs, it’s a collaboration with producer Matt Ross-Spang, and this one sees Al taking on Freddy Fender’s 1975 country-pop tune “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” and making it sound like something off one of his own early ’70s albums (the horn stabs are very “Let’s Stay Together”). His voice also still sounds fresh, and if more new music is still to come, that would be a very, very good thing. We may be in luck; Al recently joined Twitter and tweeted “It’s been over 50 years since the beginning, and we’re only just getting started.” Fingers crossed for more.
Speaking about the recording, Matt Ross-Spang told NPR:
I was fortunate to have some incredible musicians for the session: Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco), Chad Gamble (Jason Isbell), Al Gamble (St Paul and the Broken Bones) Dave Cousar, Dave Smith and the Reverend Charles Hodges. Charles is the legendary organ player on all the classic Al Green stuff and unbeknownst to me they hadn’t played together since the 1980s! The session was already pretty special but their reunion (both musically and personally) was very profound for everyone.
Al last toured in 2012, including a show at NYC’s Beacon Theatre with Charles Bradley. His last album was 2008’s Lat It Down, which was produced by Roots members Questlove and James Poyser, and featured guest appearances by Corinne Bailey Rae, John Legend, and Anthony Hamilton.
The fourth and final song for Matt Ross-Spang’s edition of Amazon Music’s “Produced By” series will be with another soul legend, William Bell. Stay tuned.