Al Green and ?uestlove
Al Green and Questlove

The title of Al Green's Lay It Down (due May 27) truly tells it like it is. Conceived as a collaboration between the soul legend and a handful of gifted young admirers from the worlds of contemporary R&B and hip hop, the album is drawn from a series of inspired sessions that yielded the most high-spirited, funky and often lushly romantic songs of Green's latter-day career. The album is a refreshingly old school jam, with everyone laying down the music together, face to face, heart to heart, soul to soul.

Al admits, "That's the only way I know how to work, that's what I've done all my life. You just write it from here." He taps his heart. "That's what we do every Sunday. We never write a sermon now. If you can't preach out of here"--tapping his chest again--"you have nothing to say anyway. It's all from the heart, this whole album, from start to finish."

The project features the sophisticated R&B voices of singer-songwriters John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and Corinne Bailey Rae, and it was co-produced with Green by two of hip-hop's most innovative players, drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson from the Roots and keyboardist James Poyser, the go-to guy for high-profile artists ranging from Erykah Badu to Common. Add in Brooklyn's celebrated Dap-King Horns (Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse), guitarist Chalmers "Spanky" Alford (Mighty Clouds of Joy, Joss Stone) and bassist Adam Blackstone (Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff), among others, and you've got a modern soul-music dream team, fronted by the most expressive voice in the business.

Photo: Al Green and Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson
Photo credit: Ginny Suss

Al Green - 2008 Tour Dates
04/03 - Philadelphia, MS - Silver Star Resort And Casino
04/05 - Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre
04/27 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
05/23 - Sonoma, CA - Field of Dreams Park
05/24 - Reno, NV - Silver Legacy Hotel Casino Expo Pavillion
05/25 - Aptos, CA - Aptos Village Park
06/19 - Toronto, ON, CAN - Sony Centre For The Performing Arts
06/20 - Rochester, NY - Eastman Theatre
06/27 - New York, NY - Carnegie Hall
06/28 - Montreal, QC, CAN - Salle Wilfrid Pelletier Place Des Arts
06/29 - Leyard, CT - Foxwoods Resort Casino
07/04 - Bossier City, FL - Horseshoe Casino Riverdome
07/05 - Tunica, MS - Grand Casino And Hotel
07/11 - Sterling Heights, MI - Freedom Hill
07/12 - Chicago, IL - Charter One Pavillion
07/15 - Vienna, VA - Filene Center
07/16 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheater
07/18 - Niagra Falls, NY - Seneca Niagara Casino
08/31 - Denver, CO - Denver Botanic Gardens
09/01 - Beaver Creek, CO - Vilar Center For The Arts
09/03 - Salt Lake City, UT - Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre At University of UT
09/05 - Tacoma, WA - Emerald Queen Casino
09/06 - Coquitlam, BC, CAN - Red Robinson Theatre
09/07 - Richmond, BC, CAN - River Rock Casino Resort
09/13 - Primm, NV - Star Of The Desert Arena
09/17 - Fresno, CA - Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino
09/19 - Concord, CA - Sleep Train Pavillion
09/20 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
09/21 - Valley Center, CA - Harrah's Rincon Open Sky Theater