Bass legend Larry Graham has released Raise Up, his latest effort with Graham Central Station, following a 13 year recording hiatus. The iconic bassist of Sly and the Family Stone and his own group enlisted the help of Prince – a long time collaborator of Graham’s, as well as songwriter/guitarist/producer Rafael Saadiq.
And while it has been 13 years since the last album, Graham has remained quite active. In our recent interview with Graham, the bass legend gave us some insight into why it took so long to get a new album out.
“It’s been about that long since the last release, but of course I’ve always continued to write and create because that’s what I do [laughs]. That’s what I enjoy doing. I guess it’s like a lot of painters who paint a lot of pictures that folks will never get a chance to see, but that’s what they enjoy doing. I’m like that with writing and being creative. Over the years I’ve continued to write, and now I just put a collection of songs together that I felt went together to tell a complete story. It’s like a book with a good beginning, and good body, and a good ending.”
Raise Up includes three “new master” versions of classic GCS tunes – “It’s Alright”, “It Ain’t No Fun To Me” and “Now Do You Wanta Dance”.
The album was recorded mostly during GCS’ tour of France in the summer of 2011.
“We’d been touring for the last couple years before I made my final selection of songs and put this record together,” says Graham. “So I got a chance to see what works with live audiences. I got a chance to see what they like and what they want and what they react to. So this CD is a reflection of that – what the people want when we play our live show.”
Along with Prince and Saadiq, Raise Up features a new Graham Central Station line-up: guitarist William Rabb, keyboardists David Council and Jimmy McKinney, drummer Brian Braziel and vocalist Ashling Cole.
“The music on this album is like a live performance,” says Graham. “I wanted to tell a complete story, with a great beginning, a powerful body and a dynamic conclusion. I want that story to be uplifting and encouraging, something to help people rise above whatever challenges they’re facing in life – whether it be personal issues or family issues or work issues. Everybody’s dealing with something. I want this music to help raise people up and enable them to overcome adversity.”
Preview and download Raise Up:
Raise Up Track List:
- GCS Drumline
- Throw-N-Down The Funk
- It’s Alright
- Raise Up
- Shoulda Woulda Coulda
- Welcome To Our World
- It Ain’t No Fun To Me
- Higher Ground
- No Way
- Hold You Close
- Now Do You Wanna Dance
- One Day