MUSIC NEWS: @PAULKELLY 'Merri Soul Sessions' (Ft. Clairy Browne, Vika/Linda Bull, Kira Puru)

Following the recent releases of his groundbreaking song cycles, Spring and Fall and Conversations With Ghosts, Australian troubadour Paul Kelly is pleased to announce another innovative chapter in his long-standing career. In the dawn of last year, he assembled his touring band and an exciting group of singers that included Clairy Browne, Vika and Linda Bull, Dan Sultan, and Kira Puru to record a set of new songs as well as one old classic. Over an exhilarating two-week period, the tracks were performed live at Soundpark Studios in Northcote, Melbourne. Dubbed The Merri Soul Sessions, the music is being made available via PledgeMusic as a very "limited edition" series of four 7" vinyl singles (double A-side). Each vinyl single can be bought individually or combined in a limited-edition box set of which only 1,000 will be manufactured. More details are at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/merrisoul

A U.S.-only version containing all of the singles and three more songs will be issued on January 27, 2015 with lead single "Keep On Coming Back For More," featuring Clairy Browne, making waves. PopMatters caught up with Kelly who offered a wry little bit about the tune, "You could say 'Keep On Coming Back For More' is inspired musically by The Roots and lyrically by Shakespeare's Sonnet 147 'My love is as a fever longing still for that which longer nurseth the disease.' You could say that. Or you could say something else."

Brown adds, "What a great honor to be part of The Merri Soul Sessions. The experience was very special, being asked to sing one of Paul's songs. When someone so iconic wants you to interpret their art, it's a deeply personal experience. It's a gift. The guys in his band are so great. Everyone involved was super awesome to work with and I'm buzzed to have had the chance to take part in it."

Kelly explains the evolution of the Sessions: "In recent years doing band shows with Vika and Linda, Vika had been singing 'Sweet Guy,' an old song of mine, and bringing the house down each time. I was keen to record her version and thought, naturally, that if we were going into the studio we should try and get some other songs on tape as well. I had a song in mind for Linda. I wrote a couple of songs with Dan Sultan that had a soul kind of feeling. And a couple of recent songs of mine, as yet unrecorded, came back into view. They seemed to fit well with the others. Having half a dozen songs now that were talking to each other helped me write a couple more. This is how it goes. One thing leads to another. You never quite know what's happening 'til you're in the middle of it."

"I started to imagine a soul revue type record performed live in the studio with a variety of singers and the one band. "I'd fallen in love with Clairy Browne and The Bangin' Rackettes' 'Love Letter,' the sound of it as well as the song, so invited Clairy and the producer of that record, Steve Schram, to get involved. I'd seen Kira Puru perform 'One Eye Open' live on YouTube and thought she might be the one to nail 'I Don't Know What I'd Do,' a song left off Spring and Fall because I couldn't sing it myself yet. It needed a torch singer who could balance light and dark. Plus, I loved the way she sang with a big glass of red wine never out of her hand. She, Clairy and Steve, thankfully, all said yes. Meanwhile Vika and Linda had started singing live the two songs Dan and I had written. The stew was simmering on the stove."

"From February 17th to March 1st this year we camped in Soundpark Studios in Australia and recorded a song a day, with Sundays off. Our general routine was to rehearse with the band in the morning, getting the song into some kind of shape sonically and piecing out a rough arrangement. The singers would come in later and take it home. We finished all the songs we had in mind a day early so I had time to write a gospel song "Hasn't It Rained" as an album closer."

The band comprises Peter Luscombe, drums and percussion; Bill McDonald, bass; Ash Naylor, guitar, electric mainly; Cam Bruce, piano and organ; Vika and Linda, harmonies when they aren't singing lead; and Kelly on rhythm guitar. Paul's nephew (and burgeoning singer-songwriter in his own right) Dan Kelly guests on one song Keep On Coming Back For More."

Paul Kelly Presents — The Merri Soul Sessions
1. Smells Like Rain (ft. Linda Bull)
2. What You Want (ft. Vika Bull)
3. Keep On Coming Back For More (ft. Clairy Browne)
4. Sweet Guy (ft. Vika Bull)
5. Righteous Woman (ft. Paul Kelly)
6. Don't Let A Good Thing Go (ft. Dan Sultan)
7. Where Were You When I Needed You (ft. Clairy Browne)
8. Thank You (ft. Paul Kelly)
9. I Don't Know What I'd Do (ft. Kira Puru)
10. Down On The Jetty (ft. Vika & Linda Bull)
11. Hasn't It Rained (ft. Vika & Linda Bull)


• 7-inch vinyl box set - Limited edition available exclusively via PledgeMusic http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/merrisoul. Only 1,000 box sets will be manufactured.

7" Single number 1
Side A: Keep on Coming Back for More, featuring Clairy Browne
Side A: What You Want, featuring Vika Bull

7" Single number 2
Side A: I Don't Know What I'd Do, featuring Kira Puru
Side A: Thank You, featuring Paul Kelly

7" Single number 3
Side A: Smells Like Rain, featuring Linda Bull
Side A: Don't Let a Good Thing Go, featuring Dan Sultan

7" Single number 4
Side A: Sweet Guy, featuring Vika Bull
Side A: Down on the Jetty, featuring Vika and Linda Bull

• 12-inch Vinyl Deluxe Edition (available exclusively via PledgeMusic). The Deluxe Edition will be released on January 27 and will feature special packaging and exclusive extras along with a heavyweight 12-inch vinyl record and a digital download of the full album. Contains 11 tracks, including 3 never before released.

VIDEO
http://youtu.be/kFpRF0eCZ_A "Keep On Coming Back For More" (ft. Clairy Browne)
http://youtu.be/mme6FnU2wSY Film by Andy Doherty featuring live footage with an insight into the sessions can be viewed here: 

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Be sure to pick up ANONYMOUS, the novel that Publishers Weekly hailed as a "well-crafted piece of experimental, voyeuristic fiction..." and "a winning jumble of the gritty, the raw, and the grotesque" at http://www.tanamor.com/p/anonymous.html.
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