The Waterboys evoke the spirit of their first few albums with this great song November Tale. It comes from the new album Modern Blues which was recorded in Nashville USA.
Scott entered the studio intent on harnessing the rolling, spontaneous energy that fueled some of The Waterboys’ greatest albums.
“I set out to make a record with an ensemble playing live, to get that performance spirit. It’s how I recorded Fisherman’s Blues.”
To that end, he corralled old hands and new friends. Ralph Salmins, a mainstay on drums for the past four years, appears alongside Scott and talismanic Waterboy Steve Wickham, who weaves a dizzying fuzz fiddle spell on several tracks of Modern Blues. Fresh to the ranks are Memphis keyboard player “Brother” Paul Brown, and David Hood, legendary bassist from the heyday of FAME studios and Muscle Shoals.
“I’ve got the man who played on Aretha Franklin hits on bass!” Scott laughs. “He and Paul had a huge impact on the sound.”
Asked why he chose to record in Nashville, Scott (who lives mostly in Dublin) explained, “Nashville has a reputation as Music City, USA and I fancied some of that. It’s one of the few cities that still has a recording studio industry intact, which brings the spur of competition. I know that across town Jack White’s making a record, The Black Keys are making theirs. I like that competitive feeling, it’s exciting. It’s a spur.”
Modern Blues is an electric, eclectic, soulful, bold and gloriously freewheeling rock’n’roll record, arriving at a time when the relevance and popular reach of The Waterboys has never been greater. In 2013 Ellie Goulding scored a top 3 UK hit with their “How Long Will I Love You” and earlier this year Prince performed “The Whole of the Moon” solo at the piano during his Hit + Run show at Ronnie Scott’s in London, while the same song was performed by finalist Sally Barker on primetime BBC 1 show The Voice. In recent times “A Pagan Place” has become a live staple for hot US indie band The War on Drugs and Waterboys’ songs have been used in movies like About Time, Dom Hemingway and What We Did On Our Holiday.
Mon Feb 2, 2015 Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre (02476524524)
Tues Feb 3, 2015 London Roundhouse (0844 338 0000/BookingsDirect.com)