Co-produced by Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jaxx, the album lands September 13th.
LONDON—Geraint Watkins, who for many years was the keystone of the bands of Nick Lowe, Van Morrison, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, Dave Edmunds and countless more, is also a revered creator of his own music, as captured in a handful of solo albums. For 2019’s RUSH OF BLOOD, he teams up with Brit and Billboard Awards winner Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jaxx (Janet Jackson, Yoko Ono, Justin Timberlake). This unique aggregation—aided by some master musicians—has produced what will surely come to be regarded as his finest solo project yet.
“Simon got in touch through Jungle Records who putout IN A BAD MOOD, which he was a big fan of. He wanted to try and do some stuff together, and he just happened to live around the corner. He'd drop his daughter off at school and come ‘round to my place where I've got a room that looks more like Steptoe and Son than Abbey Road. All quite workmanlike really.We'd do some recording, he'd take it away and work obsessively on it, come back and change a bit and so on. One day 'Little George' Sueref came around. I can't remember why he came 'round, but anyway, he put some top job backing vocals down and made up and sang a few verses too. At that point, it was really beginning to take shape,” says Watkins.
Ratcliffe went on to produce all but two of the album’s ten tracks, the remainder of which were produced by Watkins. “As well as the songs we wrote together, Simon picked all of the songs of mine to do. A lot of the overdubs were done online--Simon literally looked up musicians online who were offering their overdub services almost incognito--and one coincidence, was that one of these incognito people was Sarah Jory whom I’d worked with, with Van Morrison.”
Attempting to designate a musical category for Watkins,Nick Lowe once observed that he could be filed as “the missing link between Paulo Conte and Howling Wolf.” RUSH OF BLOOD is a case in point, kicking off with its standout title track, which Watkins tells us, “began as a sort of slow euro blues—now it's more spaghetti Western.” The album then ventures onward, running the gamut from Country, to Jazz and Blues, R’n’B and back again.
Once lauded by Dylan as his favorite English piano player, Watkins,a Welshman, has both recorded and played live with Dave Edmunds, Eric Clapton,Paul McCartney, Mark Knopfler, Nick Lowe, Dr. Feelgood, Rory Gallagher, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Stray Cats, Carl Perkins, John Wesley Harding, Tom Jones and John Martyn, among others.
RUSH OF BLOOD will be released Worldwide by the Last Music Company on Friday September 13th. A rare album launch appearance is slated for the following Sunday, September 15th, at Bush Hall in London.
1. Rush of Blood (3:56)
2. Hold Back (3:23)
3. Heart of Stone (2:45)
4. Middle of The Night (4:13)
5. Heaven Only Knows (4:23)
6. On The Nside (4:37)
7. On My Mind (4:20)
8. I Got The Blues (3:21)
9. Reason To Live (3:49)
10. Another Day Over (3:14)