On August 4, S-Curve Records/Awesome Music will release Elise LeGrow’s debut album ‘Playing Chess,’ a collection of dramatically reimagined songs from the Chess Records catalog. Produced by soul legend Betty Wright, S-Curve Records founder Steve Greenberg, and studio wizard Michael Mangini - the Grammy-winning team behind Joss Stone’s multi-platinum ‘Soul Sessions’ – the album features eleven tracks with contributions by special guests Questlove and Captain Kirk Douglas of the Roots, the Dap-Kings horns and more.
Listen to Elise turn Chuck Berry’s timeless groover “You Never Can Tell,” into a delicate ballad via Billboard here: http://bit.ly/2qBaokV
With a track list that also includes “Can’t Judge a Book,” “Who Do You Love,” and “Rescue Me,” you’ve heard many of the songs on ‘Playing Chess’ – but never like this. LeGrow's interpretations transport these tracks to a world where the past and present are inextricably intertwined, and LeGrow’s one-in-a-million voice is front and center.
"Elise possesses a flair for crafting a timeless song into her own," says Wright. "She's got a voice filled with emotion, strength, and credibility. You almost forget how good the original is because her take has such a strong identity.”
"We definitely had a vision for what the sonics of the record would be, but we also left a lot of space for experimentation,” says Toronto native LeGrow, whose father hails from Chicago, the home of Chess. “The album's eclecticism results from the spontaneous collision of my own musical influences with those of everyone in the studio, spanning decades and genres.”
LeGrow's interpretation of "Who Do You Love" is less Bo Diddley and more George Clinton, and she reimagines The 50's doo-wop of Johnnie and Joe's "Over The Mountain" as a 70's acoustic guitar-and-piano-driven track. "Can't Judge A Book" mashes up "You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover" and "You Can't Catch Me" into a feel-good anthem of individuality and self-expression. And Questlove pays drums on “Long And Lonely Nights,” a song originally recorded for Chess by his late father’s band Lee Andrews & The Hearts.
Elise will play New York City next month in support of ‘Playing Chess,’ info below.
1. Who Do You Love
2. Hold On
3. You Never Can Tell
4. Over The Mountain
5. Searching For My Baby
6. Long And Lonely Nights
7.Going Back Where I Belong
9.Can’t Judge A Book
10.Can’t Seem To Shake It
6/14 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
MORE INFO ON ELISE LEGROW