Press release from Ardent Studios:
Made In Memphis
Billy Seward, Producer George Sluppick, and Engineer Jeff Powell
Billy Seward recently made the long trek from Florida to record at Ardent with producer George Sluppick (The City Champs) and engineer Jeff Powell. George and Billy are long time friends, having met while playing gigs together in California some 10 years ago. They spent 4 days in studio A tracking with some of Memphis’ finest, in what was the first of a two-part session for Billy’s solo record. Says George Sluppick of the experience:
I would categorize Billy’s music as soul and this is a soul record, no question but there is definitely a strong blues element thrown in there too as Billy states Luther Allison, O.V. Wright and Otis Clay as major influences on his playing and songwriting.
…He asked me to produce and put together a group of seasoned Memphis players, which was easy for me to do and I was excited and honored for the opportunity. When discussing studios, we both agreed that Ardent was the best choice for what we wanted to do and Jeff Powell the only engineer for the job. The rest of the story is easy.
I got Marc Franklin to play trumpet and flugelhorn and he also did all of the horn arrangements. Marc is the man. The “Emperor of Sax,” Jim Spake, played tenor saxophone and did an amazing job. Al Gamble (The City Champs, Gamble Brothers) played Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, piano and did some wonderful background vocals. My min man, Joe Restivo (The City Champs) played some killer guitar and Landon Moore (Haven Hill & Jeremy Stanfill) came in with less than 24 hours notice and absolutely saved the day on bass. I played drums and had more fun on this session than just about any other I’ve ever been on.
Jeff Powell is truly a master and along with his assistant, Lucas Peterson, made our job fun and easy. The sounds we got in that room were so good, Billy was actually brought to tears during the listening party. What a fantastic crew of folks and we had a great time. Many thanks to everyone who helped make this recording happen, all of the great staff at Ardent and these wonderful musicians. I will be calling all of these guys again as soon as we can get Billy back up here to Memphis for round #2. Stay tuned.