TOTO's STEVE LUKATHER And JOSEPH WILLIAMS To Release Solo Albums Simultaneously In February
November 12, 2020
Steve Lukather (a.k.a. "Luke") and Joseph Williams will release individual solo albums on February 26, 2021 via The Players Club / Mascot Label Group. Both artists have made significant contributions to the other's album. Earlier this year, the label presented "Run To Me" from Luke's forthcoming release "I Found The Sun Again". Today, the first reveal from Williams's album titled "Denizen Tenant" has hit streaming platforms globally. The "Never Saw You Coming" video, produced by the artist himself, can be seen below.
Williams shares: "'Never Saw You Coming' is my first opportunity in ages to show my true sound. Although my album is an eclectic collection of songs, this one tells you what you need to know to get a real sense of the whole. You can see where I'm going vocally, for sure. It all starts with 'Never Saw You Coming', plus I thought it was time we had a cool sexy song about death! Enjoy…"
"I Found The Sun Again" was co-produced by Ken Freeman, who also both engineered and mixed the new collection of repertoire. The players feature many dignitaries that have been in Luke's life for decades. Amongst those are drummer Gregg Bissonette, keyboardist Jeff Babko, and bassists Jorgen Carlsson and John Pierce. Lifelong friend and TOTO bandmate David Paich performs piano and organ across the album, while Joseph Williams sang on multiple tracks alongside writing string and horn arrangements and tracking keys on the aforementioned "Run To Me". Both Paich and Williams co-wrote that specific composition, while friend and band leader of the ALL-STARRS, Ringo Starr makes a special appearance on the recording and in the video. Other co-writers include Stan Lynch, Jeff Babko, and, of course, Joseph Williams.
Luke shares: "Never had so much fun recording in my life. Painless, fun and easy — and it just flowed." The repertoire features five new original compositions, and three covers personally selected by Luke. Those are TRAFFIC's "Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys", Joe Walsh's "Welcome To The Club" and Robin Trower's "Bridge Of Sighs". Lukather offers in the liner notes: "ALL these tracks were cut LIVE — no clix — no fix — No rehearsal — one run-thru — and record and the whole record was take 2. I did double a few guitar parts and 'produced up' a few tunes that are obvious but in the same time frame. I recorded the lead vocal right after we got the take same day. One song a day. Joe took it home and did some BG vocals but that's it.
"I wanted to make as honest a record as I could in 2020 with 1970s inspiration, and recording values, and techniques with a modern sound. Ken did that!"
A portion of the proceeds from this album will be directed to The Ed Asner Family Center for Autism.
"Denizen Tenant" was produced by Williams outside of the compositions "Black Dahlia" and "No Lessons" which were arranged and produced by Jay Gruska and mixed by Dave Way. The musicians and singers who made contributions in the studio reads like a who's who of players that have been in the artist's life over the past four decades. Amongst these contributors are bandmates from TOTO, David Paich and Steve Lukather. Simon Phillips, Leland Sklar, Lenny Castro, Nathan East, all of whom enjoyed tenures in TOTO, are also featured players on the album. Additional contributions include performances by Oscar Bugarin, Jay Gruska, Mike Landau, Barbara Gruska, Steve Overton, Dylan Ronan, Hannah Ruick, Steve Tavaloni, Weston Wilson, Ray Williams and Mark T. Williams. The album was produced and mixed at Digbyroad Studios in Sherman Oaks, California.
"Denizen Tenant" features a dozen new recordings. Amongst these are a cover of THE BEATLES' "If I Fell", which Williams cites as the one specific song that taught him about the power of harmonies and vocal arrangements. On Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up", a very special guest performance is featured in his daughter Hannah laying down a vocal track. Across the recorded repertoire, there is a consistent presence of performances by guitarists Steve Lukather and Mike Landau alongside percussionist Lenny Castro. Williams reflects: "Mike Landau has been playing on my music since I was a teenager and he just knows what to do. His parts always inspire me. They help move me to the next step in the writing process. Steve Lukather is like this as well." In reference to Lenny, he offers: "He knows exactly what is needed and he will give me so many choices. I always get what I want. Like Mike Landau, I've been working with Lenny since I was a kid." The record is a part of the continual, ongoing collaboration of the triumvirate of Lukather/Paich/Williams. Williams co-wrote "Liberty Man" with Paich, while the keyboardist performed Hammond B3 on "Black Dahlia", and shares: "I love writing with Dave. On this tune, like many others, we spent hours talking about history, religion, music, literature, movies etc. Always leading us like excited kids to a subject or concept for the song. Then we start throwing out phrases, collecting and discarding ideas. Shaping and reshaping melodies along the way." There are so many contributors with deep connections and history with the artist, all of whom have a significant footprint on "Denizen Tenant".
The recordings will be available individually on both CD and LP, alongside all streaming services globally. A limited-edition deluxe edition is available with the two titles bundled together.
TOTO will stage a global livestream event on November 21.