Al Green is a legend in his own right. But as part of this year’s B.B. King Blues Festival, the R&B great — and former Michigan resident — is happy to be under the umbrella of another musical hero.
“He’s been out there,” Green, 61, says of the erstwhile blues guitarist. “He’s the real-deal godfather, if you will, the real-deal person in reference to the blues.
“I mean, he played on Beale Street when he was young. And after all these years he’s remained true to his calling and is still singing those songs people oughta love — just like I do.”
Green is in the midst of doing it again, too. He’s working on a new album of duets, recording in New York City with Roots drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson producing and his band playing on the tracks. Green has already recorded with Anthony Hamilton, and he’s expecting to work with D’Angelo, Alicia Keys and/or Joss Stone when sessions reconvene later this summer.
He’s hoping to put out the project, currently dubbed “The Duet Album,” in early 2008.
“It’s turning out to be like fresh cream, man, like fresh milk from the cow, baby,” Green gushes. “We wrote these songs right off the (studio) floor and cut ’em right there that same day.
“It’s the Roots band playing the music, producing the music, and they let Al sing what he sings and sing with these other people. I’ve never heard anything quite like it. And when you give these young kids a shot at it, it’s interesting to see the art they make. It’s beautiful. I can’t wait to put it out.”
The 2007 B.B. King Blues Festival, featuring Al Green takes place at 7 p.m. Sunday (July 29th) at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Etta James & the Roots Band are no longer on the bill. Tickets are $79.50 pavilion, $25 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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