Steve Cropper, the Grammy-nominated, Rock Hall of Fame guitarist who has played with Booker T. and the MG’s as well as Otis Redding and Carla Thomas during the Stax era, is putting the finishing touches to his 429 Records debut project, “DEDICATED”— a heartfelt tribute to fellow guitarist Lowman “Pete” Pauling and his pioneering R&B group The 5 Royales. A legendary and influential musician in his own right, Cropper pays homage to the group that broke musical ground and shaped his own distinctive musical voice. Produced by Cropper and Jon Tiven (Felix Cavaliere), they put together a session player dream team consisting of David Hood (bass), Spooner Oldham (piano/electric piano, organ), Steve Ferrone (drums), Steve Jordan (drums, percussion), Neal Sugarman (from the Dap Kings) and Tiven himself (saxophones). As word got out about the project, A-list guests signed on to contribute their talents such as Lucinda Williams, Brian May, Sharon Jones, Steve Winwood, John Popper, BB King, Bettye LaVette, Delbert McClinton, Buddy Miller, Shemekia Copeland and others. DEDICATED will be released on 429 Records on July 5th.
For Steve Cropper, embarking on a project paying tribute to The 5 Royales was a completely logical endeavor. More than any other artists, The 5 Royales and in particular, Lowman “Pete” Pauling, were constantly referenced by Cropper as his prime inspiration.
Says Cropper: “Part of getting older and still being able to play and all of that—at a certain point it becomes about educating the next generation. I’ve already had four of five careers and I’m lucky to be alive. If I can educate these young ears as to where the music started, because they’re always asking, and if I can get them interested in The 5 Royales I’ve done something.”
Says Steve Winwood: “Steve Cropper is a legend, one of those greats who not only writes classic stuff but plays classic stuff as well! It was a great pleasure for me to be able to work on DEDICATED and to be part of some great classic heritage music.
Says Bettye LaVette: “It’s wonderful to hear the songs of The 5 Royales, which I grew up on, played and interpreted by my contemporaries. I’ve known Steve Cropper and I’ve met him but now Steve really got to meet me. When I sing with you it’s really intimate, so I guess he really knows me. And when you mention Steve Cropper you think of all of the great female stars who he worked with and now I am among them.”
DEDICATED Track Listing:
30 Second Lover (w/ Steve Winwood)
Don’t Be Ashamed (w/ Bettye LaVette & Willie Jones)
Baby Don’t Do It (w/ BB King & Shemekia Copeland)
Dedicated To The One I Love (w/ Lucinda Williams & Dan Penn)
My Sugar Sugar ( w/ John Popper)
Right Around The Corner (w/ Delbert McClinton)
Help Me Somebody (Instrumental)
I Do ( w/ Brian May)
Messin’ Up (w/Sharon Jones)
Say It (w/ Bettye LaVette)
Slummer The Slum (w/ Buddy Miller)
Someone Made You For Me (w/Dan Penn)
Come On And Save Me (Leblanc and Sharon Jones)
When I Get Like This (w/ Lucinda Williams)