[NEWS] New Smokey Robinson Duets Album to Feature Sheryl Crow
Motown great Smokey Robinson hastens release of duets album
The release date for “Smokey & Friends,” the new duets album from legendary Motown icon and Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson has been moved up to Aug. 19 on Verve Records.
The album will be made available at all physical and digital retail outlets nationwide and is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
The track listing for “Smokey & Friends” features Robinson with a roster of contemporary and classic artists revisiting the best-loved songs from Robinson’s solo catalog, his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group, The Miracles, and hits he wrote for other artists, including Marvin Gaye and The Temptations.
On the record, produced by Randy Jackson, Robinson is joined by old friends including James Taylor, Elton John, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Sheryl Crow, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, John Mayer, Miguel, Aloe Blacc, JC Chasez, CeeLo, Ledisi and Jessie J.
Robinson and his guests pay homage to the timeless originals, while creating new versions that feel both contemporary and classic. Robinson and John turn “The Tracks of My Tears” into an organ-drenched call and response. Legend’s graceful piano playing adds a new elegance to “Quiet Storm.” On “My Girl,” Miguel, Aloe Blacc, and ’N Sync’s JC Chasez match The Temptation’s smooth harmonies, as John Mayer re-creates the song’s instantly recognizable opening guitar riffs.
The album will delight longtime Robinson fans, and introduce these ageless songs to younger listeners unfamiliar with them.
“Smokey & Friends” includes:
1. “The Tracks Of My Tears,” featuring Elton John
2. “You Really Got A Hold On Me,” featuring Steven Tyler
6. “The Way You Do (The Things You Do),” featuring CeeLo Green
7. “Being With You,” featuring Mary J. Blige
8. “Ain’t That Peculiar,” featuring James Taylor
9. “The Tears Of A Clown,” featuring Sheryl Crow
10. “Ooh Baby Baby,” featuring Ledisi
11. “Get Ready,” featuring Gary Barlow
Bob Dylan once called Robinson America’s “greatest living poet.” In the singer-songwriter’s four-decade career, he has received two Grammys, the Grammy Living Legend Award, NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Doctorate from Howard University, Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts Award from the president of the United States. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
Born and raised in Detroit, Robinson founded The Miracles while still in high school. The group was Berry Gordy’s first vocal group, and Robinson’s “Shop Around” became Motown’s first No. 1 hit on the R&B singles chart. The Miracles dominated the R&B scene throughout the 1960s and early ’70s.
[NEWS] Sheryl Crow Profiles U.S. Heroes, Music Icon in 'Redemption Day' Video
Exclusive premiere: Singer uses war footage and clips of dear friend, Johnny Cash in new concert video
Rolling Stone Country
It's been nearly two decades since Sheryl Crow released her chart-smashing, self-titled album in 1996, but the pop-gone-country chameleon is still soaking up the sun with a brand-new live concert video featuring a collaboration with Johnny Cash on her critically acclaimed album track, "Redemption Day."
Set to a new arrangement of the tune with Crow and Cash exchanging verses, the video is a compilation of Sheryl Crow concert footage and scenes of Johnny Cash living the good life in the Seventies, all interspersed with gritty, historic scenes of American war involvement throughout the 20th century. In one shot, you see American soldiers running through tall grasses in the jungles of Vietnam, before seeing dozens of bombs being dropped out of U.S. Army helicopters. In another, Cash is shown performing in black and white, later riding a train and contemplating in front of a gravestone in bittersweet technicolor.
The tune was originally written by Crow in 1995 and included on her Sheryl Crow album, inspired by an eye-opening visit to Bosnia in the same year with Hillary Clinton. "I really experienced something I'd never seen before, which was what it looks like to be in a war-torn area and meet people who had suffered through that," Crow explains to Rolling Stone Country. "Part of [Hillary's] goal was to speak to the women and children in those villages. The moment we went into Bosnia, the whole genocide was happening in Rwanda and we sat back and watched it, yet Bosnia seemed to be kind of a stronghold in Europe and we needed the military presence there. I came home really struck by the question of why we invest in some countries and other countries we don't."
The same question was still being asked by Cash in 2003 when he decided to cover "Redemption Day," calling Crow to grill her and gain insight into its inception. "He really wanted to understand what had motivated the song to be written so that he could sing it and he wasn't just putting his voice but his actual standing in the song. That's really why I believed everything that Johnny sang; his words had real meaning and real connection to his spirit."
Although the deliverance of Cash's rendition was stalled due to his death a few months after recording, it still remained relevant, "...particularly after invading Iraq and nobody really understanding, even after the realization that that had nothing to do with 9/11 and that there were no weapons of mass destruction. That question is always looming: 'Why are we in areas of the world when we have very little to do with our relationship with that part of the world?' And that was one of the reasons I think Johnny was interested in the song," says Crow.
"Then he died a couple months later, and it took years, and I'd made many phone calls to Rick Rubin and asked when this was going to be out. But for me it was so interesting because of what was happening in the world and I felt like the weight of his voice and him being such an iconic figure in American history and in the American art form of country music that it would happen when he said those words."
It was ultimately included on American VI: Ain't No Grave, Cash's posthumous album released in 2010, and after hearing the recording, Crow was eventually inspired to combine their individual takes into a new arrangement for performing live with the new video. "We talked to John Carter, Johnny's son, and said, 'We feel like adding his voice to this and it really brings it home. We're all feeling the weight of the chaos we seem to be trying to navigate through — politically, socially, everything in the world is supposed to be interconnected, and there's so much unrest and so much hostility. I mean, he's singing about peace... it was really in line with his belief system and Christianity. So we asked if we could mix his voice in and John Carter loved the idea, and we just used footage of him looking like himself — all aspects of himself through his career — so you see that and you hear his voice, and it's very profound and impactful when you see it live."
SOURCE: Rolling Stone magazine -
[PIC] A Crow on the Water
"Another fun 4th of July at the lake with family. God bless America!"