Freddie Jackson released a new album last year — “For You,” his first in four years and first of all original material in six, re-uniting him with Barry Eastmond, Jackson’s hitmaking partner in the ’80s and ’90s.
But the R&B stalwart acknowledges that the Men of Soul Tour with Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson and Howard Hewitt is more about the past than the present.
“We have a really good time with this, and it’s doing really well,” says Jackson, 53, who’s had 10 No. 1 R&B hits since 1985. “That’s a statement that somebody’s hungry for some good music, a good show. They don’t mind going back. There’s all this screaming about Old School, but it looks to us like someone’s in need of Old School.
“So you’re getting No. 1 records all night long. It’s like you’re sitting at your own jukebox and saying, ‘This is what I want to hear.’ It’s truly for old time’s sake.”
Jackson says things are going so well, in fact, that the four singers, who perform one song together at the end of each show, are talking about recording an album. The quartet recorded a jingle for syndicated radio host Tom Joyner, and Jackson says the chemistry “was so perfect we came to the conclusion we’ve got to do a record.” So far, however, it’s just at the discussion stage.
“Everybody is still doing their individual things, but we’ve spoken about it,” says Jackson, who’s planning to make an orchestrated, standards-style album with Eastmond next. “We’ve talked about producers, ’cause it’s all about the right songs and having the right producers getting the right material.
“But everybody that hears about it is like, ‘Oh, man, you’ve got to be kidding me. That’s a No. 1 record all the way!’ And it will give the tour more longevity, too. It’ll be a whole other payday for us.”
The Men Of Soul Tour with Freddie Jackson, Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson and Howard Hewitt plays at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $45 and $35 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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