Black Midnight Sun

Black Midnight Sun

by Lucky Peterson
     
 
The heavy tradition carried by the blues often makes innovators and experimentalists look like heretics. But it happens that out-of-the-blues artists like Cory Harris, Joe Louis Walker, and, in this case, Lucky Peterson are the ones most capable of moving beyond the currently mundane and too often trivialized electric blues genre. On Black Midnight Sun,

Overview

The heavy tradition carried by the blues often makes innovators and experimentalists look like heretics. But it happens that out-of-the-blues artists like Cory Harris, Joe Louis Walker, and, in this case, Lucky Peterson are the ones most capable of moving beyond the currently mundane and too often trivialized electric blues genre. On Black Midnight Sun, Peterson is joined by outside jazz players Henry Threadgill on flute, cornetist Graham Haynes, and bassist Bill Laswell, who also produced the set. The sound is thick, layered, and booming but steeped just enough in blues to make it tasty to a variety of listeners. “Herbert Harper’s Free Press News,” recorded by Muddy Waters on Electric Mud in 1968, is revitalized funk that seems eerily appropriate in light of today’s 24-7 TV war coverage. Peterson’s barrage of guitar notes explodes deep in Hendrix territory with the force of a bunker bomb. Mick Jagger’s “Lucky in Love” features Peterson’s guitar keening and crying while his organ swells make the chorus anthemic. Syl Johnson’s social commentary tune, “Is It Because I’m Black,” is pain filled and holy at the same time in Peterson’s hands: His guitar depicts inner turmoil, while his organ takes the tune to church. Also in the set are Peterson and Laswell’s take on Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning”; the Johnnie Taylor hit “Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone”; Sly Stone’s “Thank You for Talkin’ to Me Africa”; and James Brown’s “Talkin’ Loud and Saying Nothing” -- making the album an ear-opening journey through African-American popular music of the '50s and '60s. The kicker is the title cut, written by the innovative guitarist Marc Ribot. It’s a beautiful ballad with terrifying lyrics that poetically hint at environmental disaster, a total loss of innocence, and spiritual devastation. It also portrays what it must be like for outside artists like Peterson who are trying to make a living in today’s popular music world.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Campbell
Black Midnight Sun is the first release on the Dreyfus label by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Lucky Peterson, joined here by producer Bill Laswell on bass and former Parliament/Funkadelic drummer Jerome "Bigfoot" Braily. While the disc features a few Peterson originals, the majority of the album relies on cover versions. Luckily, Peterson picked several that he's well suited to tackle, including "Herbert Harper's Free Press" (Muddy Waters), "Lucky in Love" (Mick Jagger), "Is It Because I'm Black" (Syl Johnson), "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone" (Johnnie Taylor), "Talkin' Loud and Saying Nothing" (James Brown), and "Thank You for Talkin' to Me Africa" (Sly Stone). Black Midnight Sun is a combination of electric blues, rock, soul, and funk that, for the most part, works just fine.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/09/2009
Label:
Imports
UPC:
3460503664326
catalogNumber:
914596
Rank:
138986

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lucky Peterson   Primary Artist,Organ,Synthesizer,Guitar,Electric Piano,Vocals
Bill Laswell   Bass
Graham Haynes   Cornet
Henry Threadgill   Flute
Alex Harding   Baritone Saxophone
Jesse Dulman   Tuba

Technical Credits

Charles Brown   Composer
Lucky Peterson   Composer
James Brown   Composer
Mick Jagger   Composer
Bill Laswell   Producer
Donald Davis   Composer
Bobby Byrd   Composer
Sidney Barnes   Composer
Howlin' Wolf   Composer
Jean-François Deiber   Executive Producer
Ray Henderson   Composer
Syl Johnson   Composer
Jimmy Jones   Composer
Robert Musso   Engineer
Jerry Ragovoy   Composer
Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart   Composer
David Sylvian   Composer
Henry Threadgill   Horn Arrangements
Steve Washington   Composer
Bill Murphy   Liner Notes
Kent Barker   Composer
Robert Thurston   Composer
Eddie Williams   Composer
Michael Lemesre   translation
Glenn C. Watts   Composer

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