What Arthur Lee began on Loves Black Beauty (released by High Moon Records to wide acclaim in 2013), he brought to fruition on Reel To Real. Armed with a major label budget, and a powerful, intuitive band, he dug deep into the blues, soul, and rock grooves that first inspired him, reaching out to a new audience with his fierce and forward-thinking personal vision. The album features Arthurs beloved Black Beauty band: drummer Joe Blocker, guitarist Melvan Whittington, and bassist Robert Rozelle, who he referred to as, cats who can play funky and rock; augmented by guitar-ace John Sterling, and cameo appearances by legendary guitarists Harvey Mandel and Buzzy Feiten. To a palette of stinging guitars, explosive brass (arranged by Arthur Lee), deep funk bass and clavinet, splashes of spacey synthesizer, and dream-team female backing vocals, Arthur Lee brought his funkiest and most soulful collection of songs, and channeled the most visceral vocal performances he ever committed to tape.
High Moon Records has unearthed 11 revelatory, previously-unreleased tracks from the original sessions including alternate takes and mixes, live-in-studio rehearsals, and 4 newly-discovered Arthur Lee originals: Do It Yourself, I Gotta Remember, Somebody, and You Gotta Feel It. These songs three fully-produced rockers, and a spare, jaunty, Imagine-era John Lennon, by-way-of Sly Stone studio sketch were previously unknown to all but their original participants, and present a major addition to Arthur Lees catalog. Other bonus track highlights include the guitar fury in the extended, alternate mix of Busted Feet, the eccentric and darkly-comic single mix of You Said You Would, and an impromptu studio rehearsal of Forever Changes outtake Wonder People (I Do Wonder). This ultra-rare bonus material fills out the picture of a fearless, agile and very funky ensemble, led by a masterful singer-songwriter at his feral, exultant best.
Coming Soon: Love - Reel to Real
Out Nov. 27.