In March, we reported that Oscar and Grammy-winning American rocker Melissa Etheridge had signed a new deal with Concord Music Group’s famed Stax label. Now we have details of the release of her first album in the new pact, MEmphis Rock and Soul, which will be out on 7 October.
The set, recorded at the celebrated Royal Studios in Memphis (home of producer Willie Mitchell’s classic recordings with Al Green, Ann Peebles and many others on the Hi label) featured a selection of deep soul covers associated with the heyday of Stax.
Etheridge has remade such landmark songs as the Staple Singers’ ‘Respect Yourself,’ Otis Redding’s ‘I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,’ Johnnie Taylor’s ‘Who’s Making Love’ and ‘I Forgot To Be Your Lover’ by William Bell, who himself recently returned to Stax with the acclaimed new album ‘This Is Where I Live.’
John Mayer guests on lead guitar on ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’ and Etheridge has added original verses of her own to both ‘Respect Yourself’ and ‘I’m A Lover.’ The album was produced by resident Royal Studios producer Boo Mitchell, son of Willie, and features top Memphis sidemen including the surviving Hodges brothers; Etheridge also used the famous RCA “No. 9” microphone on which Green recorded many of his most famous vocals.
Melissa is currently on an extensive US tour with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, with dates throughout August followed by solo dates with her own band on the Memphis Rock and Soul Tour. From 31 October to 5 November, she’ll be part of the Rock The Boat cruise, departing from Key West, Florida and also starring Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and others.
Pre-order the album at Pledge Music, and download, stream or buy some of Melissa’s career landmark recordings, at the buttons below.