Scotty Barnhart had a vision of the Basie orchestra swinging behind and with some of the greatest blues artists of the last and current century, so he enlisted a stellar lineup of blues icons and contemporary stars including Buddy Guy, Bobby Rush, Keb’ Mo’, Robert Cray, George Benson, Shemekia Copeland, Ledisi, Mr. Sipp, Lauren Mitchell, Bettye LaVette, and Charlie Musselwhite to help realize it fully. Together, they have created a timeless musical experience that celebrates the essence of the blues in the context of the irresistibly electrifying and enduring swing of Basie. The result is an unforgettable journey through a musical landscape that has stood the test of time while managing to be specifically of and in the moment.
Basie Swings the Blues is the latest recording by the legendary Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Scotty Barnhart, and captures the raw emotion, infectious rhythm, and profound storytelling that are hallmarks of both jazz and blues. Released September 15th, 2023 via Candid Records, the album fuses Basie signature style of sophisticated swing with the raw and soulful talents of a cross section of blues legends and current stars, these revered artists take listeners on a captivating journey through the heart and soul of American music and showcase a shared musical language that still powerfully impacts listeners across the world. This extraordinary recording celebrates the deep-rooted connection between jazz and blues and illuminates shared roots and reciprocal influence, reminding us that the boundaries between these genres are fluid and the essence of both lies in the heartfelt expression of the human experience.