Memphis-based artist John Paul Keith will release his new record ‘The Rhythm of the City’ on February 19th via Wild Honey Records.
Following album opener ‘How Can You Walk Away‘, he has now shared new single ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’. Of the new track, he says: “We had already recorded the ten songs I’d planned for the record, but there was one song I just wasn’t happy with, so I decided to shelve it. That meant I needed one more song. I told the band to give me a couple of days and I went home and wrote “I Don’t Wanna Know”. I knew right away the album was going to be better for it. And I was happy the other song didn’t work out, because I probably would never have written this one. We went back in and recorded it, and Tirienii and Tikyra Jackson wrote the perfect background vocal arrangement for it. It just all came together.”
Keith’s fifth solo album – and his first self-produced effort – ‘The Rhythm of the City’ finds him expanding his approach on a horn-heavy 10-song collection that’s in thrall to the classic sounds of Bluff City soul and rock and roll.
“I was at my home in Memphis one evening and heard a car pass by blasting Al Green’s ‘Love and Happiness,’ which was recorded just a couple miles away,” says singer-songwriter John Paul Keith. “I was struck by how Howard Grimes’ drumming just seems to embody something about the feel and the pace of life for me here. I thought to myself, ‘Howard Grimes is the rhythm of the city.’ My next thought was, ‘That sounds like a title track.’”
Conjuring up his own unique musical mélange –a sweet spot where the sound of Sun blues, Stax soul, and Hi R&B all meet – it’s a record steeped in the geography and culture of Memphis, which Keith has called home for the last 15 years. “The vibe came about organically from playing Beale Street and Graceland and working with horn sections more frequently the last few years,” says Keith.
The Rhythm of the City was recorded to tape at Electraphonic Studios, and engineered by Keith’s frequent collaborator, Scott Bomar (bandleader of the Bo-Keys, Don Bryant producer, and film composer for Dolemite Is My Name).