Listen: Van Morrison’s ‘Roll With the Punches’ LP

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A new 15-track album by Van Morrison, Roll With the Punches, is set for release on Sept. 22 via Exile/Caroline. Morrison’s 37th studio album sees him covering a selection of rhythm ’n’ blues classics (by Bo Diddley, Mose Allison, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Lightnin’ Hopkins, among others) and recording a set of new self-written songs. According to a press release, Morrison says, “It’s an album that features raw, intimate interpretations of some of the cornerstones of rock ’n’ roll alongside five new numbers by one of our most consistently brilliant recording artists. A pre-order of the album is available now.

Roll With the Punches was produced by Morrison and recorded with collaborators including Chris Farlowe, Georgie Fame, Jeff Beck, Paul Jones and Jason Rebello.

Related: BCB’s review of Van’s It’s Too Late to Stop Now reissue

“From a very early age, I connected with the blues,” Morrison says in the press release. “The thing about the blues is you don’t dissect it; you just do it. I’ve never over-analyzed what I do; I just do it. Music has to be about just doing it and that’s the way the blues works—it’s an attitude. I was lucky to have met people who were the real thing, people like John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Witherspoon, Bo Diddley, Little Walter and Mose Allison. I got to hang out with them and absorb what they did. They were people with no ego whatsoever and they helped me learn a lot.

Van Morrison (Photo by Jill Furmanovsky, used with permission)

“The songs on Roll With the Punches, whether I’ve written them or not, they’re performance oriented,” he adds in the statement. “Each song is like a story and I’m performing that story. That’s been forgotten over years because people over-analyze things. I was a performer before I started writing songs and I’ve always felt like that’s what I do.”

Roll With the Punches Track List
1) Roll With the Punches (Van Morrison & Don Black)
2) Transformation (Van Morrison)
3) I Can Tell (Bo Diddley & Samuel Bernard Smith)
4) Stormy Monday/Lonely Avenue (Stormy Monday–T-Bone Walker/Lonely Avenue–Doc Pomus)
5) Goin’ To Chicago (Count Basie & Jimmy Rushing)
6) Fame (Van Morrison)
7) Too Much Trouble (Van Morrison)
8) Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke)
9) Ordinary People (Van Morrison)
10) How Far From God (Sister Rosetta Tharpe)
11) Teardrops From My Eyes (Rudy Toombs)
12) Automobile Blues (Lightnin’ Hopkins)
13) Benediction (Mose Allison)
14) Mean Old World (Little Walter)
15) Ride On Josephine (Bo Diddley)

Watch Van’s live version of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me”

In August, Morrison released “Transformation,” the first single from his upcoming album Roll With the Punches. The song, written by Morrison, features regular Van collaborator Chris Farlowe on additional vocals alongside U.K. jazz great Jason Rebello on piano and legendary guitarist/former Yardbird Jeff Beck.

On Sept. 7, Morrison released “Goin’ to Chicago”

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U.S. and U.K. Tour Dates

U.S. Dates (Tickets are available here and here):

Sep 14 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater
Oct 13-14 Palm Springs, CA – Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
Oct 20-21 – Oakland- CA – Fox Theater
Jan 31 – Las Vegas, NV – The Colosseum at Caesars Palace
Feb 02 – Las Vegas, NV – The Colosseum at Caesars Palace
Feb 03 – Las Vegas, NV – The Colosseum at Caesars Palace
Feb 07 – Miami, FL – James L Knight Center
Feb 08 – Miami, FL – James L Knight Center

U.K. and Northern Ireland Dates:

Sep 22-23 – London – Nell’s Jazz & Blues Club
Nov 6 – Edinburgh – Edinburgh Playhouse
Nov 7 – Glasgow – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Nov 12 – London – Eventim Apollo
Nov 13 – Birmingham – Symphony Hall
Nov 15 – Liverpool – Philharmonic Hall
Nov 20 – Cardiff – St. David’s Hall
Nov 21 – Bristol -Colston Hall
Nov 24 – Torquay – Princess Theatre
Nov 25 – Plymouth – Pavilions
Dec 4-5 – Belfast – Europa Hotel

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