Kentucky Headhunters Announce New Album Featuring Legendary Blues Pianist
The Kentucky Headhunters are set to release a new album of live-recorded songs featuring legendary blues pianist Johnnie Johnson.
Johnson, who is known for his work with Chuck Berry, met up with the Headhunters in 2003 with the goal of recording some piano parts for the band’s Soul album, which was released later that year. However, the simple assignment turned into something more: a spontaneous three-day writing and recording session, the results of which have been compiled into Meet Me in Bluesland, set for release on June 2.
“The minute Johnnie sat down with us, the music was a kind of ecstasy,” Headhunters guitarist and vocalist Richard Young says.
Johnson’s relationship with the Headhunters dates back to 1992, when the band picked up a copy of his Johnny B. Bad record while on their way to a Grammy Awards party in New York. They listened to the album throughout the entire trip, and when they saw Johnson sitting alone at the party, they went to talk to the icon and hit it off. In 1993, the Headhunters and Johnson released That’ll Work together on Nonesuch Records and eventually ended up on tour together as well.
“Playing with him, the groove got bigger and much more grown up,” drummer Fred Young explains. “We all admired Johnnie from the start. The first time we played with him was the first time I ever felt like we were doing it right. The music we made on Meet Me in Bluesland is as good as it gets.”
Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and died in 2005.
Meet Me in Bluesland is available for pre-order from Alligator Records at Alligator.com. The band is set to appear at the 2015 Volunteer Jam alongside Montgomery Gentry, Travis Tritt and others on Aug. 12 in Nashville.
The Kentucky Headhunters With Johnnie Johnson, Meet Me in Bluesland Track Listing:
2. “Walking With the Wolf”
3. “Little Queenie”
4. “She’s Got to Have It”
5. “Party in Heaven”
6. “Meet Me in Bluesland”
7. “King Rooster”
8. “Shufflin’ Back to Memphis”
9. “Fast Train”
11. “Superman Blues”