Elvis Costello and the Roots

Take one British rock legend, most closely associated with soaring guitar-driven melodies loaded with some of the most searing lyrics ever written, and put him in to a recording studio with a hip hop band grounded in soul, and see what happens. Judging from what they’ve already been up to, we could be looking forward to a stunning collection of songs that could end up one of the albums of the year. 

Elvis Costello met The Roots when he was on the TV show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, where the rappers are the “house” group, accompanying guests. “It was love at first sight,” said leader of the Roots Amir “Questlove” Thompson. What had happened on the stage of the programme had to be continued. “We’re so different, yet we were immediately attracted to each other.“ Costello is certainly no stranger to collaborations, having worked with the likes of Burt Bacharach, Bill Frisell and Richard Harvey, but this musical partnership brings together two very different worlds.

Their initial plan was to record just a few songs, but their enthusiasm got the better of them and they ended up with 20 compositions, from which the singer and the group will choose 14 for the forthcoming album. Meanwhile, the Roots are putting the finishing touches to their own highly anticipated new album Then You Shoot Your Cousin, to be released in 2014.


Pierfrancesco Pacoda

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