The Dreamer

The Dreamer

by Etta JamesEtta James




Apparently, Etta James' musical career ends with The Dreamer. The legendary vocalist announced a few months back that this would be her final album; she's retiring from music in order to deal with serious medical issues. Co-produced by James, Josh Sklair, and her sons Danto and Sametto, The Dreamer's 11 tracks offer an imperfect but utterly worthy portrait of the places she's been musically with a couple of selections that reveal her dictum that "every song is a blues." Her signature meld of soul, blues, rhythm & blues, rock, and country are all on display here. The production underscores her lifelong commitment to these styles and suits the material at large. Her musical accompanists include not only her co-producers, but guitarists Leo Nocentelli and Big Terry de Rouen, saxophonist Jimmy Z., trombonist Kraig Kilby, and trumpeter Lee Thornburg. Ms. James' choice of material is rigorous even if two of its selections are questionable: the cover of Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" doesn't lend itself well to the choogling boogie arrangement here; and the funkified reading of contemporary country stars Little Big Town's "Boondocks" sounds like she tried too hard to make it fit. These cuts aside, the rest of the material is vintage; it reflects the work of Ms. James' influences and contemporaries. Her readings of Otis Redding's "Cigarettes & Coffee" and "Champagne & Wine," Bobby "Blue" Bland's "Dreamer," Bob Montgomery's country-pop standard "Misty Blue," Ray Charles' "In the Evening," Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "That's the Chance You Take" and "Too Tired," and Little Milton's "Let Me Down Easy" all contain within them not only their original traces, but the musical experience necessary to bring their subtler, deeper meanings to the fore. She re-creates these songs not as mere touchstones or mementos from a career, but as signposts to the living, breathing tradition that bears the signature and considerable influence of her life upon them. The Dreamer is a fitting -- if not perfect -- bookend to one of American popular music's most iconic lives.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/08/2011
Label: Verve Forecast
UPC: 0602527831893
catalogNumber: 001612802

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Etta James   Primary Artist
Jimmy Z.   Saxophone
Josh Sklair   Guitar
Terry Deroven   Guitar
Kraig Kilby   Trombone
Bobby Murray   Guitar
Leo Nocentelli   Guitar
Lee Thornburg   Trumpet
Sametto James   Bass
David K. Mathews   Keyboards
Donto James   Drums

Technical Credits

Bobby "Blue" Bland   Composer
Etta James   Producer
Jerry Butler   Composer
Ray Charles   Composer
Otis Redding   Composer
King Floyd   Composer
Josh Sklair   Producer,rhythm arrangement
Roy Johnson   Composer
Wayne Kirkpatrick   Composer
Bob Montgomery   Composer
Axl Rose   Composer
Lee Thornburg   Horn Arrangements
Jay Walker   Composer
Johnny "Guitar" Watson   Composer
Terry Howard   Engineer
Lupe DeLeon   Executive Producer
Rudy Calvo   Shoot Coordinator
Joe Josea   Composer
Jules Taub   Composer
Allan Walden   Composer
Sametto James   Producer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Kimberly Roads   Composer
Karen Fairchild   Composer
Jimi Westbrook   Composer
Artis Mills   Executive Producer
Phillip Sweet   Composer
Philip Manning   Cover Design
Saul Hudson   Composer
Donto James   Producer,Engineer
Roots Band   rhythm arrangement
James Milton Campbell   Composer
Eddie Thomas   Composer

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