KING BIZKIT - 'SELLING MY SOUL'

In blues legend there is a story of a crossroads, selling of a soul and a remarkable return ... some parallels can be drawn here, with 19 years passing since their last studio album and their name rarely heard of in the 21st century, King Bizkit are back with a remarkable album 'Selling My Soul'.

Over the past 13 years, band leader Richard Everitt has been working on songs for his latest album (due for release on 1 May 2012), drawing together a host of musicians from a variety of backgrounds to perform nine excellent songs that feature on the album, all bar two written and arranged by Richard assisted by Jon Bower, King Bizkit's bass player, who also plays on all the tracks. Names such as Laurie Wisefield (Wishbone Ash / Tina Turner), John Lingwood (Manfred Mann's Earthband / Roger Chapman), sax player Pete Long stand out, interestingly though less well known names feature too, singer Claire Edwards and flute player Lisa Halls were 'discovered' performing in Ipswich pubs.

The quality of the production is immediately apparent on the opening numbers 'Together Again' which fairly swings along and is reminiscent in places of Tony Joe White's 'Steamy Windows' has some great brass work from the five piece brass section of Lisa Graham from Jools Holland's Big Band (tenor & alto sax), Pete Long (baritone sax), Mike Owen (tenor sax), legendary British jazz player Henry Lowther who has worked with John Dankworth, John Mayall's Bluebreakers, Elton John, Paul McCartney and many others (trumpet) and Claude Deppa (trumpet) who feature throughout the album. This is one of five tracks featuring Laurie Wisefield on lead guitar and John Lingwood on drums. (the others being '...or Die Trying', 'The Letter', 'A Fast One' and 'Selling My Soul')

'Leaving Time' features the funky guitar of Tim Ainslie (Swagger / Groove Doctors / Ainslie's Vibes) complemented by some excellent organ playing from Ian Gibbons who has toured and recorded with many bands including The Kinks, Chris Farlowe and Dr Feelgood.

Next up, one of two Gregg Wright songs, King Bizkit's masterful performance of 'or Die Trying' dives deep into the depths of the blues with Everitt's outstanding lead vocals adding to the desperate mood of the song, whilst the backing vocals are excellent too. The song also features some fine guitar work, plus excellent trumpet playing from Claude Deppa.

A modern soul blues song 'Fatman's Game' marks Lisa Hall's studio debut on flute, though the casual listener is more likely to notice the uptempo brass work from the superb brass section which on this track includes Richard Henry on bass trombone, interlaced with Tim's guitar and Ian's organ.

Next comes a quartet of songs about that ever present blues subject, women!

As the swinging 'Don't Want You 'Round Me No More' shows the jealous ever demanding woman, the door, Everitt's vocals embody the relief of an ended relationship.

This song and 'Don't Quit Me Baby' (Track 7) features one of King Bizkit's founder members, Adam Clarkson on lead guitar as well as some notable piano work from Reg Webb who was the keyboard player with Nik Kershaw and also pursues a successful jazz career, another jazz musician Kendrick Rowe plays drums on the two tracks. There is also an excellent sax break during the second of the two numbers. Adam continues to play regularly with King Bizkit, and has also worked with Gregg Wright, Built For Comfort and The Motel Kings.

'The Letter' is another song about the heartache of relationships, and features some superb guitar work from Laurie.

'A Fast One', always one of our favourite Gregg Wright blues/rock songs, is given an extra dimension with Everitt's soulful arrangements of brass, guitar and keyboards combining to give a fantastic funky sound. King Bizkit's versions of Wright's originals are impressive, showcasing perfectly Gregg's outstanding song writing ability.

The closing song 'Selling My Soul' like his other songs on this album is autobiographical, encapsulating Everitt's lifetime in music so far, features studio debutante Claire Edwards on backing vocals alongside Ira Jones (vocalist with the Jah Warriors).

After so long away from the spotlight King Bizkit is back. This excellent album, recorded at Roundel Studios in Kent, stands out, both for exceptional songs and musicianship and the quality of production.

As well as the music, there is also the fantastic bonus of the amazing artwork of famous artist Roger Dean on the world-wide release to look forward to. This will be Roger's 121st album cover, and it can also be enjoyed on a limited run of 500 numbered Collectors Gatefold vinyl albums via both King Bizkit and Roger Dean (www.rogerdean.com) websites.

For more information and news of the forthcoming tour to promote the cd, please visit

http://www.kingbizkit.com/

by Tom and Ali - Fizgig