Booker T. Returns to Stax Records for 'Sound the Alarm'

Booker T. Returns to Stax Records for 'Sound the Alarm'
Forty years after Booker T. Jones split from Stax Records, the R&B great has announced he's rejoined the label to issue his next LP, Sound the Alarm.

The record, which drops June 25, is his first for Stax since 1971's Melting Pot and comes off the heels of two solo LPs issued through Anti-. While Jones started his career with Stax, leading the label's in-house band the MG's, he left the label in the early '70s when it was apparently in a state of turmoil. The imprint is now steered by the Concord Music Group, and Jones notes he's pleased to be back on the roster.

"I'm so comfortable with what's going on now — it's a return home," Jones told Billboard. "It has worked well for me going from that company to this company. If it hadn't fallen apart in the '70s, Stax would have had to make all of those changes for R&B to survive through disco and hip-hop. Somehow, the universe has made it possible for me and Stax Records to be in the same place after all these years."

While 2011's exploratory Road to Memphis was produced by the Roots' Questlove and featured guest spots from Matt Berninger of the National and Lou Reed, Jones described Sound the Alarm as "more of an R&B record."

"Our record with the Roots is a great record, which I love, but it's more alternative, jazz hip-hop — we had Lou Reed on that record," he said, adding, "This is a more accessible work, more accessible music."

The new LP features a mix of instrumental and vocal tracks, with guests including Estelle, Sheila E., Anthony Hamilton, Gary Clark Jr. and more. The backup band, meanwhile, features the Avila Brothers and Raphael Saadiq on guitar. You can sample the album's opening track "Sound the Alarm," featuring Mayer Hawthorne, down below.

Sound the Alarm:

1. Sound The Alarm (ft. Mayer Hawthorne)

2. All Over The Place (ft. Luke James)

3. Fun

4. Broken Heart (ft. Jay James)

5. Feel Good

6. Gently (ft. Anthony Hamilton)

7. Austin City Blues (ft. Gary Clark, Jr)

8. Can't Wait (ft. Estelle)

9. 66 Impala (ft. Poncho Sanchez and Sheila E.)

10. Watch You Sleeping (ft. Kori Withers)

11. Your Love Is No Love (ft. Vintage Trouble)

12. Father Son Blues (ft. Ted Jones)

Tour dates:

6/8 Las Vegas, NV - Cannery Casino Resort
6/14 Columbus, OH - Bicentennial Park Performing Arts Pavilion
6/15 Franklin, TN - Franklin Theatre
6/23 Big Bear Lake, CA - Lakeside Lawn Marina Resort
6/27-30 Seattle, WA - Dimitriou's Jazz Alley
7/12 Quebec City, QC - Place d'Youville Square
8/10 Kitchener, ON - Kitchener Blues Festival
8/14-17 London, UK - Ronnie Scott's
10/4 Catalina Island, CA - Avalon Ballroom