Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Aussie music treasure Paul Kelly returns with new project

Following the recent releases of his groundbreaking song cycles, Spring and Fall and Conversations With Ghosts (the latter only in Australia), Paul Kelly has another innovative chapter for his long-standing career.

Earlier this year, he assembled his touring band and a group of singers to record a set of new songs as well as one old classic. The tracks were performed live in the studio by Clairy Browne, Vika and Linda Bull, Dan Sultan, Kira Puru and himself.

Dubbed The Merri Soul Sessions, the music is being made available via PledgeMusic as a very “limited edition” series of four 7” vinyl singles (double A-side). The U.S. will see the release of an album on Jan. 27, 2015, containing all of the singles and three more songs.

Each vinyl single can be bought individually or combined in a limited-edition box set. Only 1,000 of the 7” box sets will be manufactured. They will also be available as digital downloads. More details are available via PledgeMusic:

The first single/focus track is “Keep on Coming Back for More,” featuring Clairy Browne; the B-side (on the vinyl and digital commercial version) is “What You Want,” featuring Vika Bull. The full schedule of dates is below.

Kelly explains the evolution of the Sessions:

“In recent years doing band shows with Vika and Linda, Vika had been singing “Sweet Guy,” an old song of mine, and bringing the house down each time. I was keen to record her version and thought, naturally, that if we were going into the studio we should try and get some other songs on tape as well. I had a song in mind for Linda. I wrote a couple of songs with Dan Sultan that had a soul kind of feeling. And a couple of recent songs of mine, as yet unrecorded, came back into view. They seemed to fit well with the others. Having half a dozen songs now that were talking to each other helped me write a couple more. This is how it goes. One thing leads to another. You never quite know what’s happening ’til you’re in the middle of it.

“I started to imagine a soul revue type record performed live in the studio with a variety of singers and the one band. “I’d fallen in love with Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes’ “Love Letter,” the sound of it as well as the song, so invited Clairy and the producer of that record, Steve Schram, to get involved. I’d seen Kira Puru perform “One Eye Open” live on YouTube and thought she might be the one to nail “I Don’t Know What I’d Do,” a song left off Spring and Fall because I couldn’t sing it myself yet. It needed a torch singer who could balance light and dark. Plus, I loved the way she sang with a big glass of red wine never out of her hand. She, Clairy and Steve, thankfully, all said yes. Meanwhile Vika and Linda had started singing live the two songs Dan and I had written. The stew was simmering on the stove.

“From Feb. 17-March 1 this year we camped in Soundpark Studios in Australia and recorded a song a day, with Sundays off. Our general routine was to rehearse with the band in the morning, getting the song into some kind of shape sonically and piecing out a rough arrangement. The singers would come in later and take it home. We finished all the songs we had in mind a day early so I had time to write a gospel song "Hasn’t It Rained" as an album closer.”

The band comprises Peter Luscombe, drums and percussion; Bill McDonald, bass; Ash Naylor, guitar, electric mainly; Cam Bruce, piano and organ; Vika and Linda, harmonies when they aren’t singing lead; and Kelly on rhythm guitar. Paul’s nephew (and burgeoning singer-songwriter in his own right) Dan Kelly guests on one song, "Keep On Coming Back For More.”

Paul Kelly Presents — The Merri Soul Sessions, the full album, will be available through regular retail channels from January 27th. Prior to that, fans will have the special opportunity to pre-order and receive the special collector’s editions detailed below.

• A five-minute film by Andy Doherty featuring live footage with an insight into the sessions can be viewed here:

Paul Kelly presents – The Merri Soul Sessions
Schedule of releases

• 7-inch vinyl box set (limited edition available exclusively via PledgeMusic —

Fans who purchase the special collectors’ box have received or will receive each 7” single automatically over the July-January release schedule. Only 1,000 box sets will be manufactured. Purchasers will also be entitled to a free digital download of the full album released January 27, 2015.

• 7-inch vinyl singles (available in retail outlets, iTunes and via PledgeMusic).
7-inch features two tracks from the forthcoming album and a digital download of the single.

7" Single number 1: July 2014
Keep on Coming Back for More, featuring Clairy Browne
What You Want, featuring Vika Bull

7" Single number 2: September 2014
I Don’t Know What I’d Do, featuring Kira Puru
Thank You, featuring Paul Kelly

7" Single number 3: November 2014
Smells Like Rain, featuring Linda Bull
Don’t Let a Good Thing Go, featuring Dan Sultan

7" Single number 4: January 2015
Sweet Guy, featuring Vika Bull
Down on the Jetty, featuring Vika and Linda Bull

• 12-inch Vinyl Deluxe Edition (available exclusively via PledgeMusic). For those seeking something a little extra, the Deluxe Edition will be released in on January 27.

This will feature special packaging and exclusive extras along with a heavyweight 12-inch vinyl record and a digital download of the full album. Contains 11 tracks, including 3 never before released. Stay tuned to the website for more information.

Additional Video Link:
“Keep Comin’ Back for More” (Clairy Browne) - 

For more information about Paul Kelly presents – The Merri Soul Sessions, go to:

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