On September 17th, Wise Up Ghost, a collaboration between Elvis Costello and the Roots, will be released. The album is good. You can listen to it here. Not amazing from start to finish, but pretty neato in parts. Lots of beats that you wish had been saved for a Roots’ album.
This is just the latest collaboration the Roots have been involved with. Before their adventures with Elvis, they worked with Jay Z on his MTV Unplugged appearance, John Legend on the throwback protest record Wake Up!, and soul singer Betty Wright on her album Betty Wright: the Movie. Live, the Roots have become one of the more impressive and more diverse backing bands out there. For the past few summers they’ve backed up legendary headliners like De La Soul, Wu Tang Clan, Naughty by Nature and more at their annual Roots’ Picnic in Philly and as the backing band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon they’ve backed up everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Ice Cube and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James to Kanye West, who they played with last night.
There’s really not anyone out there they wouldn’t be able to play with.
But who would you want them to play with next?
Here’s 20 artists performing today I’d like to see be backed by the Roots…
Gary Clark Jr
Paul McCartney (Beatles tunes with a Roots’ tinge to it? Yes please.)
Drake (Just because I want to hear the Roots play “Hold On, We’re Going Home“)
I could think of more, but this seems like a good start.
Now, if I only had a way to get in touch with Questlove…