Van Morrison announced his 37th album. Roll With The Punches, out September 22nd, contains covers of old blues and classics along side five renditions of old Van Morrison songs.
“The songs on Roll With the Punches – whether I’ve written them or not – they’re performance oriented,” Van Morrison said in a 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 includes tunes by Bo Diddley (“I Can Tell,” “Ride on Josephine”), Lightnin’ Hopkins (“Automobile Blues”) and minimal Walter (“Mean Old World”). Several of Van Morrison’s selections are popular post-war songs like “Stormy Monday,” which was recorded by Lou Rawls and the Allman Brothers and lead single “Bring It on Home to Me,” originally performed by Sam Cooke and later rendered being a duet by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas.
The version of “Bring It on Home to Me” on Roll With The Punches could have been recorded into the 1960s across the same time as the Thomas/Redding rendition. The guitar works down and up the scale in a pattern that is predictable as if played by Stax stalwart Steve Cropper, while the drummer taps out a light beat. Van Morrison extends syllables in remarkable ways, making the expressed word “bring” last for many measures, and back ground singers add controlled doses of gospel energy.
“The thing about the blues is you don’t dissect it – you just do it,” Van Morrison said. “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’s Roll With The Punches, which features efforts from Chris Farlowe, Paul Jones, Jason Rebello, Jeff Beck and Georgie Fame. After the album’s launch, Van Morrison will go forth on a short tour. He plays two gigs in the U.S. in September and four more in October. Van Morrison also has a set of performances scheduled in Scotland and England before ending with two concerts in Belfast.
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” (T-Bone Walker / 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)