Keyboardist Barry Goldberg’s Solo CD: Premiere

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Barry Goldberg (Photo: Bob Merlis)

He’s collaborated with a Who’s Who of blues and classic rock greats. Dylan. Stills. Bloomfield. Kooper. Miller. Spector. Now, Barry Goldberg‘s first solo album in almost two decades is set for release June 15 from Sunset Blvd. Records. In The Groove is the legendary writer/keyboard giant’s homage to the records and artists who had a profound influence on him during his formative years when he grew up listening to late night radio over Chicago’s WGES and WVON before bursting onto the blues scene in the mid-1960s.

The 12-track all-instrumental album (excepting “Guess I Had Enough of You” that features a guest vocal from jazz great Les McCann) includes five new songs composed for the project plus classic and, to some, obscure material associated with such artists as Snooks Eaglin, Sil Austin, the Cyclones, Johnny & the Hurricanes, Milt Bruckner, Doc Bagby and the Wailers (the Tacoma garage band, not the Jamaican reggae group that appropriated the name).

Best Classic Bands is pleased to premiere a track from the upcoming album. Hear it below.

Goldberg is heard on piano, Hammond B3 organ and Wurlitzer piano with backing from Denny Freeman (guitar), Tony Marsico (bass) Don Heffington (drums), Rob Stone (harmonica), James Intveld (guitar), Joe Sublett (sax), Darrell Leonard (trumpet), Johnny Lee Schell (guitar), Reggie McBride (bass), Craig Fundyga (vibes), Victor Bisetti (percussion) and Nawfel Hermi (guitar). Pre-order In The Groove here.

Listen to our premiere of “The Mighty Mezz,” Goldberg’s tribute to the late musician Mezz Mezzrow, from In The Groove

The album was produced by Carla Olson and recorded by Johnny Lee Schell at Ultratone Studio in Southern California who also mixed some of the tracks as did Ed Cherney.

“I always wanted to make an album like this,” says Goldberg, “not a ‘super session’ record, but a record that was just fun to do, where everybody playing together just locks in and you feel the magic. And I wanted to pay homage to the kinds of cool music that turned me on in the first place.”

Over the course of his professional career, now in its sixth decade, Goldberg has collaborated on recordings with Steve Miller, Mike Bloomfield and, most famously, backed Bob Dylan when the latter “went electric” at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

Related: Goldberg shares his first-person account of playing with Dylan at the ’65 festival

His solo output has been limited due to the priority given his collaborative work that has included the Goldberg-Miller Band, the Electric Flag, Supersession with Al Kooper and Steven Stills, Two Jews Blues with Bloomfield as well as more recent recordings and appearances with Chicago Blues Reunion, the band that has variously included Sam Lay, Harvey Mandel, Nick Gravenities, Corky Siegel, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite and Tracy Nelson.

In the last few years, he’s recorded and toured as part of The Rides, a blues-oriented musical alliance with Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Chris Layton, veteran drummer of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble.

Watch The Rides perform in 2015

His inaugural work as a session player can be heard on his rollicking piano intro to Mitch Ryder’s #1 hit “Devil With A Blue Dress On” as well as work he did under the aegis of Phil Spector on tracks by the Ramones and Leonard Cohen.

As a soloist/band leader, his output dates back to the 1966 release of Blowin’ My Mind by the Barry Goldberg Blues Band, followed in 1969 with Barry Goldberg & Friends as well as his 1974 Barry Goldberg album, recorded in Muscle Shoals, that was produced by Bob Dylan and Jerry Wexler.  His last solo effort was Stoned Again, an instrumental take on the Jagger/Richards canon that was also produced by Carla Olson.

Goldberg has written songs with Gerry Goffin for Rod Stewart, Gladys Knight, Bobby Bland, Jackie Wilson and Tom Jones, and earned a Grammy nomination for his role in producing the comeback album for Percy Sledge. Most recently, he wrote and performed the score for the critically acclaimed documentary film BANG! The Bert Berns Story and was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2017.

In The Groove Track Listing

01. Guess I Had Enough of You (Barry Goldberg/Les McCann)
02. The Mighty Mezz (Barry Goldberg, dedicated to Mezz Mezzrow)
03. Westside Girl (Barry Goldberg)
04. In The Groove (Barry Goldberg)
05. Mighty Low (Milt Bruckner)
06. Dumplin’s (Doc Bagby)
07. Ghosts In My Basement (Barry Goldberg)
08. Bullwhip Rock (Wayne Brookes/The Cyclones)
09. Lazy (T.J. Fowler, T. King, L. Mttice/Johnny & The Hurricanes)
10. Tall Cool One (Richard Dangel, John Greek, Kent Morrill/The Wailers)
11. Slow Walk (Sil Austin)
12. Alberta (Huddie William Ledbetter/Snooks Eaglin)

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