Rita Coolidge to Release New Album in May

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Singer Rita Coolidge will release her new solo album, Safe in the Arms of Time, on May 4 on Blue Élan Records. The album marks the two-time Grammy winner’s return to songwriting, and as she did in her acclaimed 2015 memoir, Delta Lady, she drew inspiration for her new material from her personal journey. She turned 73 on May 1.

“I’ve written so many songs assuming a role like an actor, but this time I got to write from experience,” says Coolidge in a press release. Coolidge co-wrote three of the album’s 12 cuts.

Says the press release, “In many ways, Safe in the Arms of Time is both a reflection and a continuation of Coolidge’s remarkable history, one that took flight during the heyday of the ’70s L.A. music scene when she sang backup on Stephen Stills’ ‘Love the One You’re With’ and Eric Clapton’s ‘After Midnight.’ (She also contributed the classic, and uncredited, piano coda to Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla.”) “The idea was making an album that had the same appeal of my early records – to make a roots record about my own roots,” Coolidge says.

Related: Bobby Whitlock talks about Derek and the Dominos

For the album, Coolidge and producer Ross Hogarth, along with guitarist Dave Grissom, bassist Bob Glaub, keyboardist John “J.T.” Thomas and drummer Brian MacLeod, assembled at L.A.’s Sunset Sound, the famed recording studio where she recorded her first solo albums on A&M Records 30 years ago. “Going back to Sunset Sound was taking a journey into the past—there was a memory down every hallway,” Coolidge says.

The track “You Can Fall in Love” was co-written with former Tom Petty drummer Stan Lynch and Joe Hutto. Coolidge also wrote two of the album’s standout cuts—the blues number “Naked All Night” and the smooth-soul gem “Walking on Water”—with Grammy-winning blues artist Keb’ Mo’ and singer-songwriter Jill Colucci in Nashville.

Watch the video for “Walking on Water”

Safe in the Arms of Time also gave Coolidge the chance to reunite with one of her real-life past flames, one who has remained a cherished friend, Graham Nash. Nash and drummer Russ Kunkel had offered Coolidge their blues-rocker “Doing Fine Without You” two years before she began recording. “I said to them, ‘I don’t know when I’m doing a record. Can I put this on hold?” When she and Hogarth started the project, it would be one of the first songs they picked.

Safe in the Arms of Time marks the first new music Coolidge has recorded since the death in 2015 of her sister, Priscilla, a recording artist and member of Walela, the Native American trio she and Coolidge founded with Priscilla’s daughter, Laura Satterfield. The recording of the album also coincided with Coolidge’s relocation from Southern California to a new life in Tallahassee, where in the 1960s, as an art major at Florida State University, she discovered her calling as a musician.

Safe in the Arms of Time will be released on multiple formats (including a three-sided white vinyl collector’s edition with a special silkscreen on the fourth side). In March, Coolidge will debut select songs from Safe in the Arms of Time at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, and she’ll celebrate the album with a special record release performance at L.A.’s historic Troubadour nightclub on April 30.

Listen to “Spirit World”

Track List
1. Satisfied
2. Doing Fine Without You
3. Walking On Water
4. Spirit World
5. The Things We Carry
6. Naked All Night
7. Van Gogh
8. Rainbow
9. Over You
10. We Are Blood
11. You Can Fall In Love
12. Please Grow Old With Me

Rita Coolidge Tour Dates (Tickets are available here)

May 14-17 – London, U.K. – Boisdale Canary Wharf

Jul 06 – Modesto, CA – Gallo Center for the Arts
Jul 07 – Livermore, CA – Bankhead Theatre
Jul 08 – Folsom, CA – Harris Center for the Arts
Jul 14 – Pasadena, CA – The Rose
Jul 15 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – The Coach House

Jan 25, 27 – Agoura Hills, CA – Canyon Agoura Hills

Listen to an earlier Rita Coolidge track, her cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire”


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