Booker T. Jones is a true blues legend, and his story and status are being widely celebrated this winter. He has been a couch guest on The Tonight Show, the NY Times ran a feature, and his new book and album are getting raves. Booker is performing in Nashville at City Winery on Jan. 16th.
His first new album since 2013, Note By Note, was released on CD November 1, 2019, and traces his life story through song, with Booker having recorded some of the tentpole songs that follow his incredible journey from playing piano with Mahalia Jackson at age 12, through the Stax years, to producing key albums for Willie Nelson and Carlos Santana.
The songs mirror the chapters in the book – from Carla and Rufus’ “Cause I Love You” (this was Booker’s first recording session, he was picked up from algebra class and driven to Stax, where he played the opening baritone sax horn line. Then to “Born Under A Bad Sign,” which Booker co-wrote…to “These Arms of Mine” and reflections on Otis. Willie Nelson’s “Stardust” – Booker produced that record. And “Time Is Tight,” the MGs smash hit that Booker re-recorded in the way that he’s always wanted – with a huge orchestral flurry at the end. It clocks in at 9 minutes. It’s something you must hear and have in your collection!
Time Is Tight: My Life, Note by Note, the long-awaited 352 page self-penned memoir of Booker T. Jones, leader of the famed Stax Records house band, architect of the Memphis soul sound, and one of the most legendary figures in music was released by Little, Brown and Company on October 29, 2019. From Booker T. Jones’s earliest years in segregated Memphis, music was the driving force in his life. While he worked paper routes and played gigs in local nightclubs to pay for lessons and support his family, Jones, on the side, was also recording sessions in what became the famous Stax Studios-all while still in high school.
Not long after, he would form the genre-defying group Booker T. and the MGs, whose recordings went on to sell millions of copies, win a place in Rolling Stone‘s list of top 500 songs of all time, and help forge collaborations with some of the era’s most influential artists, including Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Sam & Dave. Nearly five decades later, Jones’s influence continues to help define the music industry, but only now is he ready to tell his remarkable life story.
Time is Tight is the deeply moving account of how Jones balanced the brutality of the segregationist South with the loving support of his family and community, all while transforming a burgeoning studio into a musical mecca. Culminating with a definitive account into the inner workings of the Stax label, as well as a fascinating portrait of working with many of the era’s most legendary performers, with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Tom Jones among them, this extraordinary memoir promises to become a landmark moment in the history of Southern Soul.
See and hear this legendary artist live at Nashville’s City Winery, 609 Lafayette Street, on Thursday, January 16. Doors open at 6:00 pm and show starts at 8:00pm. Tickets are Premier $45.00; VIP $42.00; Reserved $40.00; and Balcony $35.00.