James Blood Ulmer, the legendary guitarist turned elder statesman of the blues, is currently back in the studio working on a new album for HYENA Records.
The as-yet-untitled recording will be built around a cycle of songs Ulmer has written dealing with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, including titles such as "Survivors of the Hurricane," "Let's Talk About Jesus" and "Slave Master." Additionally, there will be interpretations of tunes by Junior Kimbrough, Howlin' Wolf, Bessie Smith and Son House.
In the spirit of the songs' focus, the sessions are taking place at Piety Street Studios in New Orleans, Louisiana. Living Colour and Masque founder/guitarist Vernon Reid is producing the set. This will be Ulmer and Reid's fourth collaboration together. Also on board to support Ulmer is his "Memphis Blood Blues Band" featuring Reid on guitar, Charlie Burnham on fiddle, Leon Gruenbaum on keyboards, David Barnes on harmonica, Mark Peterson on bass guitar and Aubrey Dayle on drums.
The album is tentatively scheduled for a May 2007 release with U.S. and European tour dates to follow.