CD Cover

Any record collector will tell you that the real kick of collecting comes from unearthing unreleased musical time capsules—“holy grail” stuff.  The time was the spring of 1987, and the place was sunny Los Angeles.

A stellar group of musicians had been assembled by David “Lefty” Foster, fresh from his fabled Shaboo Inn concert venue in northeast Connecticut (where he’d presented every great artist of the era, from Elvis Costello to John Lee Hooker), and a veteran of years on the road with blues pioneer Matt “Guitar” Murphy.

The lineup was historic—and flawless:  Kal David (Illinois Speed Press, Fabulous Rhinestones) on guitar; Harvey Brooks (Electric Flag, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Seals & Croft) on bass; Mike Finnigan (Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Etta James, Joe Cocker) on Hammond B3 and piano; Jack Scarangella (Richie Havens, Blood, Sweat & Tears) on drums; Joe LaLa (Blues Image, film soundtrack multi-platinum guru) on percussion; and the Phoenix Horns of Earth, Wind & Fire and Phil Collins fame—Don Myrick (sax) Louis “Lui Lui” Satterfield (trombone), Rahmlee Michael Davis (trumpet) and Harry Kim (trumpet)—blowing arrangements written by the incomparable “Tom Tom” Washington.

At the helm was legendary producer Paul Rothchild, whose monumental LPs for The Doors, Bette Midler, and Bonnie Raitt had cemented his reputation as one of the masters.

The sessions were soulfully glorious, a funky romp by these post-Woodstock greats. There was only one hitch: Paul Rothchild was ill, and not even he knew it.

Several months after the sessions were completed, Paul was diagnosed with cancer. He passed away a short time later, his prolific career cut short.  Mirroring a story often told in the music business, the masters became enmeshed in his estate, there to languish for 22 years.

David Foster returned to Connecticut and resumed playing with his long-running band The Shaboo All Stars (they became The Mohegan Sun All-Stars in 2001), sharing the stage with the likes of Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Keith Richard, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dan Ackroyd, Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, and B.B. King (in a decades-long supporting role on the road). 

In 2001 he released Powerful Stuff with the All-Stars; that CD includes their version of “What A Life.”

But “the lost L.A. sessions,” as these tracks came to be called, remained, truly, a collectors’ holy grail. Their reputation preceded them…tantalizing, yet unattainable—until now.  

The songs speak for themselves.  Mike Finnigan wrote the swingin’ title cut, plus “Bad Blood” and “I Used To Know Her Well.” 

Kal David contributed “Nothin’ New,” and Harvey Brooks penned “I’ll Be There” and “So Glad I Found You.” 

Rounding out the CD are  “I Dig Girls,” a soul gem originally recorded by JJ Jackson, Sam Cooke’s gospel-tinged “Bring It On Home,” and a fresh version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop.” 

Anchoring it all is Foster’s voice, as he croons, shouts and wails with the heartfelt joy of a man who knows he’s in the middle of something absolutely great. 

Foster—who’s got a treasure trove of stories about the sessions—is philosophical, even as he continues an active touring schedule with The Mohegan Sun All-Stars that has included a 2009 series of pops concerts with The Hartford Symphony. “We’re sorry for the delay, but it was beyond our control. We hope everyone who listens to the record enjoys it.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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