Legendary jazz guitarist George Benson has paid tribute to to Chuck Berry and Fats Domino on new album ‘Walking to New Orleans’. Released on 26th April via Provogue/Mascot Label Group, the set will be followed by a brace of UK dates in July.
Getting back to Americana basics on 'Walking to New Orleans', is the celebrated jazz man's double-barreled tribute to both piano-pounding Crescent City hit machine Fats Domino and the original rock guitar hero and poet, Chuck Berry.
"I'm a great appreciator of the music made by both of those guys," says Benson, who reanimates their genius with his signature soulful vocals and buttery solos. "Chuck Berry was a great showman and a great musician, and Fats Domino cut nothing but hit after hit after hit."
The Chuck Berry songbook is represented on ‘Walking To New Orleans' by "Nadine (Is It You?)," "You Can't Catch Me," "Havana Moon," "Memphis, Tennessee," and "How You've Changed." Fats Domino weighs in with "Rockin' Chair," "Ain't That a Shame," "I Hear You Knocking," "Blue Monday," and the album's iconic title track.
'Walking to New Orleans' is Benson's first recording since 2013’s 'Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole.' But where Benson embellished Cole's cool tunes with lush orchestral arrangements, 'Walking' found Benson hunkering down in Ocean Way Studios on Music Row with a quartet of first-call Nashville cats: drummer and music director Greg Morrow, guitarist Rob McNelley, pianist Kevin McKendree, and bassist Alison Prestwood. Producer Kevin "The Caveman" Shirley (who has also worked with Journey, Iron Maiden, and Black Star Riders) was at the controls.
George Benson will perform at the Apollo Nights Summer Series on 18th-19th July at London’s Eventim Apollo. Over one week in July 2019 at London’s Eventim Apollo, legendary artists will take to the stage, as the Apollo’s newly restored Art Deco interior is celebrated as the stalls area is transformed into an intimate dining experience for a truly spectacular evening, marrying the delights of the best in music and food. A dining experience by one of the UK’s most exciting chefs – Bryn Williams.
'Walking to New Orleans' is George Benson's 45th album, and few sound quite as loose-limbed and flat-out fun as this one. "We did have us a ball making this record," he admits.
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George Benson Tour Dates:
March 9th - Cerritos Center - Cerritos/CA
June 2nd - Newport Beach Jazz Fest - Newport Beach, CA
June 29th - Jazz Festival - Saratoga Springs, NY
July 1st - Montreal Jazz Fes - Montreal, Canada
July 9th - L’Olympia - Paris, France
July 10th - Theater 11 - Zurich, Switzerland
July 15th - Umbria Jazz - Perugia, Italy
July 18th - Hammersmith Apollo - London, England
July 19th - Hammersmith Apollo - London, England
July 21st - Jazz am See - Erlangen, Germany
July 22nd - Theater am Potsdamer Platz - Berlin, Germany
July 25th - Noches del Botanico - Madrid, Spain