R&B legend and longtime Atlanta resident William Bell re-emerges triumphant with a brand new album marking his return to Stax Records, the label that gave him his start in the early 1960s. Although he’s released several independent albums on his own Wilbe label in the interim, this is his first major release in almost four decades.
Bell wrote most of the songs on This Is Where I Live with Grammy-winner John Leventhal, who also produced the album. Additional co-writing contributors are Rosanne Cash (Leventhal’s wife), Marc Cohn, Cory Chisel and Scott Bomar. The album also includes a fresh version of “Born Under a Bad Sign,” the classic he wrote with Booker T. Jones that was famously covered by both Albert King and Cream. Acclaimed music historian Peter Guralnick penned the liner notes, observing that the album “convey[s] home truths from a perspective of age and experience that might not always have been readily apparent to a younger man.”
“At my age,” says 76-year-old Bell, “I’ve had a lot of experience, and I know what my limitations are, what my faults are as a human being, and I utilize that. When I approach a lyric or a melody, I’m brutally honest.”
Bell, Leventhal and band are playing a handful of live shows around the release, with the closest one to Georgia announced so far being June 5th at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville. Bell last played Atlanta in December, an intimate, sold-out show at The EARL.