Article Contributed by Americana Vibes | Published on Saturday, March 23, 2024

Soul provider and GRAMMY-nominated vocalist & keyboardist Nigel Hall (Lettuce) and 2x GRAMMY-nominated multi-instrumentalist and producer DJ Harrison (Butcher Brown) have united to pay tribute to chart-topping R&B legends Earth, Wind, and Fire in The Burning Bush: A Journey Through the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire. The first taste of the new album is a rendition of the iconic band’s eponymous namesake track “Earth, Wind and Fire” available today via Regime Music Group. The full album will be available on May 10, 2024—pre-save it HERE.

Born out of Hall and Harrison’s shared reverence for the cherished icons, The Burning Bush: A Journey Through the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire reflects the duo’s simpatico approach to music, compared notes of musical heroes, and serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of EWF and the catalyst for their collaboration. Speaking about the project, DJ Harrison reflects, “‘Burning Bush’ is an album that reflects my first encounters with THE Nigel Hall in the studio...It was an energy that makes one feel they’ve found a distant musical relative and this record was the nucleus of our musical brotherhood that’s still active to this day.”

On the emotional depth and dedication to the project, Hall elaborates, “We were crushed by Maurice White's passing, so we thought what better way to release the pain and anguish of losing someone who we consider a king, by honoring him (and the group which was his vision) by paying homage to the music that changed (and continues to change) our lives.”

Hall recounts the organic process of including “Earth, Wind, and Fire” on the album after Harrison had sent a voice memo fleshing out the tune. “We have that kind of relationship where we are usually the first people to hear what the other is working on. Typically, people who are able to do that with each other, have a tremendous amount of trust in the other person. I was sold from the intro, as Spirit is in my top 3 EWF records. We decided we’d finish it and the rest is history.”

The duo’s slightly more uptempo rendition of “Earth Wind and Fire” echoes the 1976 original’s soaring, ethereal syllabic vocals and lush, unmistakable string parts that have been effortlessly translated to synth pads. With lyrics that speak to a grandiose picture of existence calling out elemental properties of the band's namesake, it is the perfect lead track to bridge generations of listeners—to perk up the ears of astute EWF fans and usher in a new generation who is eager to delve into the expansive and timeless catalog of music Earth, Wind, and Fire have crafted.

Hall poignantly attests to the desire to ignite cross-generational appeal and EWF’s cultural significance, “Our hope is that the listener will use our renditions to research the originals and how amazing the world of EWF actually is. We are true believers in the fact that, if everyone started their day with at least one EWF song, the world would indeed be a better place.”

Hall and Harrison have a shared upbringing hailing from the DMV area with the region significantly impacting their musical upbringing. Hall was born in Washington D.C. to a musical family and began playing keyboards at age five growing up immersed in his father’s record collection and the city’s vibrant go-go, funk, and soul scene. Harrison grew up in Richmond, VA, serving as the incubator for his “garage punk jazz funk” group Butcher Brown. Harrison’s recent solo album Shades of Yesterday, released in February 2024 via Stones Throw Records, pays homage to Harrison’s musical heroes looking back to his upbringing in Richmond, VA with nods to the influence of his contemporaries. While Hall has resided in New Orleans, LA since 2013 and cites the positive impact of living in the world-class music city, this project’s roots are laid down in Jellowstone Studios in Richmond—the stomping grounds of the initial jams that forged the musical kinship between Hall and Harrison where they cultivated a fortified EWF songbook.

The Burning Bush: A Journey Through the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire will feature guest appearances by Hall’s Lettuce bandmates Adam Deitch (drums) and Eric “Benny” Bloom (trumpet) & Harrison’s Butcher Brown counterparts Corey Fonville (drums), Andrew Randazzo (bass), Marcus Tenney (horns), Morgan Burrs (guitar). Former Butcher Brown guitarist Keith Askey, Billboard chart-topping guitarist/producer Brandon Lane, and revered Richmond-based vocalist Sam Reed also appear on the album.

Vinyl & exclusive merchandise is available for pre-order HERE.

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