May 29th, 2013 - New York, NY - Elvis Costello and The Roots have announced today that a collaborative album entitled Wise Up Ghost will be exclusively released by Blue Note Records on Monday 16th September 2013 in the UK and Tuesday September 17th 2013 in the USA.
The existence of the record was first revealed by ?uestlove as an aside during an interview with Billboard Magazine in January. A small number of test pressings were distributed as white labels on Record Store Day on the 20th of April but the full release will follow later in the year.
Most of the sessions took place in secret at Feliz Habitat Studios in the dead of night, while others were in plain sight at Costello's Hookery Crookery Studios. Elvis described the record as "the shortest distance between here and there" and containing "both rhythm and what is read". Ahmir says, "It's a moody, brooding affair, cathartic rhythms and dissonant lullabies. I went stark and dark on the music, Elvis went HAM on some ole Ezra Pound shit."
The solitary star announcing vacancy burnt out as we arrived
They'd throw us back across the border if they knew that we survived
It promises to be one of the most unexpected and surprising releases of 2013.
In addition to the fabulous Roots crew and friends, the record features a guest vocal appearance on "Cinco Minutos Con Vos" from La Marisoul, lead singer of the Los Angeles group, La Santa Cecilia.
The album was produced by longtime Roots associate, Steven Mandel together with Elvis Costello, and Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.
About Elvis Costello:
Elvis Costello began working as a professional musician 35 years ago, shortly after the release of his first album, My Aim Is True. He has made more than 27 studio records, three live albums and numerous guest appearances on stage, studio and screen as well as working as a record producer, bit-part actor and composing music for television drama and dance performance. He has toured the world with The Attractions, The Imposters and the pianist, Steve Nieve, performing with symphony and jazz orchestras as well as in solo performance. His catalogue of songs includes collaborations with Paul McCartney, Allen Toussaint and Burt Bacharach with whom he won a Grammy for "I Still Have That Other Girl" from their 1998 collaboration, Painted From Memory. Costello's songs have been recorded by George Jones, Chet Baker, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield and Robert Wyatt. Elvis Costello and The Attractions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. In the same year he was awarded ASCAP's prestigious Founder's Award. His last record was 2010s National Ransom, produced by T-Bone Burnett. Between 2008 and 2010, Costello was the host of twenty episodes of the interview and music show, Spectacle on the Sundance Channel.
About Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson:
Drummer, DJ, producer, culinary entrepreneur, author and member of The Roots - Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, is the unmistakable heartbeat of Philadelphia's most influential hip-hop group. He is also the Musical Director for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where his beloved Roots crew serves as the house band. The musician's indisputable reputation has also landed him musical directing positions with everyone from D'Angelo to Eminem to Jay-Z. In addition, the artist will release his first memoir, Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to ?uestlove, on June 18th.
About The Roots:
Formed in 1987, in Philadelphia, PA, the legendary Roots Crew, consists of Black Thought (MC), Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (drums), Kamal Gray (electronic keyboards), F. Knuckles (percussion), Captain Kirk Douglas (electronic guitar), Damon Bryson (sousaphone) and James Poyser (electronic keyboard). Having previously released twelve projects, The Roots have become one of the best known and most respected hip-hop acts in the business, winning four Grammys, including "Best R&B Album" for Wake Up!, "Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance" for "Hang in There" (with John Legend) and "Best Group or Duo R&B Vocal Performance" for "Shine." The ensemble was most recently nominated for "Best Rap Album" for the 2011 release of undun. This brings the band's GRAMMY nomination count to twelve. Additionally, The Roots have also become the faces of Philly's "Fourth of July Jam," an annual concert held during the Fourth of July with the biggest names in music, and "The Roots Picnic," a yearly star-studded mix of musicians, that has become a celebrated institution during awards season. Recently The Roots were named one of the greatest live bands around by Rolling Stone, became the official house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where they currently perform every Monday-Friday.