Michael Lington at Seabreeze Raw and Uncut

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Michael Tozzi gets to talke with Michael Lington about his new album and much more.

Lington cooks up a winner and does justice to the timeless late 1960s chart-topping soul anthem “Soul Finger” by the Bar-Kays. He had the great fortune of assembling a band of legendary Stax rhythm section plays and members of Al Green’s band. Lington shares, “In a sad twist fate, Ben Cauley, who wrote the song and was one of the founding members of the Bar-Kays passed away the day we recorded it. He was also the sole survivor of the 1967 plane crash that claimed the lives of Otis Redding and four members of the Bar-Kays. I hope he would have been proud of what we were able to create.” The intoxicating, sweet and lyrical “Block Party” is somewhat of a Memphis meets Motown composition and “Alright” is a bluesy number accented by the sublime vocals of Taylor Dayne whose timeless hits “Tell It To My Heart” and “Love Will Lead You Back” will forever be classics. “Taylor Dayne is an incredible singer and has deep roots in R&B,” shares Lington. “We have been doing some touring together and I thought it would be great to have her sing a song.”

Lington takes us to church with “Sunday Morning,” as his alto raises the roof and testifies on this truth-seeking gospel-tinged ballad. The song was co-written with Barry Eastmond and highlights the beautiful Hammond B-3 of Shedrick Mitchell and solo guitar of Phil Hamilton. Just when you thought it could not get any better along comes “Wooh,” and just as the title exclaims this is a high-octane number that percolates with excitement. The exchange between Lington’s alto and Ray Parker Jr.’s guitar on this fun-loving track is a highlight. Lington recalls, “Ray showed up to my house in a convertible car, just him sitting in the drivers seat and his guitar in the passenger seat- no case just sticking straight out of the car – it was some sight. When he couldn’t find parking he said to me with a big smile: Alright Michael we are going to write a hit song today so we can buy you a new house with more parking!” This marks the first time that Michael Lington and Ray Parker Jr. have written a song together. The album closes with a “Midnight Drive” and is reminiscent of Mr. Magic and the CTI glory days. Fusing the finer elements of jazz, blues, soul and R&B this Eastmond and Lington original featuring the guitars of Paul Jackson Jr. (who is a good friend and long time collaborator) and Phil Hamilton, has all the makings of a modern day classic. Lington shares this tidbit about the songs terrific finale, “The end of the song was not planned and it was just a bunch of exhausted musicians jamming and the end of a long day’s session. I love that it happened organically, so decided to keep in the song.”

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