SuperHeavy gets off to a strong start(msn canada)

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SuperHeavy gets off to a strong start(msn canada)

Post  edygee on Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:18 pm

SuperHeavy is the latest supergroup to emerge where the individual participants seem promising, but you're unsure of how well they'll all pull everything together. Judging by the strength of the band's introductory single, "Miracle Worker," there's a lot of room for optimism.

SuperHeavy is partially composed of Eurythmics member/producer Dave Stewart (guitar), Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Bob Marley progeny and Grammy Award-winning reggae artist Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley (vocals), soul diva Joss Stone (vocals) and "Slumdog Millionaire" soundtrack composer A.R. Rahman (vocals and keyboards). Stewart and Jagger co-produced the group's debut album, which was recorded at studios in France, Cyprus, Turkey, India, the Caribbean, Miami and Los Angeles.

Stewart calls SuperHeavy "a mad alchemist type experiment," and the rest of the group's lab work will bubble to the surface with the release of the album in September. Almost 30 songs were written and while a final track list hasn't been released, "One Day One Night," "Energy," "Unbelievable," "SuperHeavy," "I Can't Take It No More," "You're Never Gonna Change," "I Don't Mind" and "Satyameva Jayate" have been confirmed along with "Miracle Worker," which was mixed by Chris Lord-Alge (Madonna, Bruce Springsteen).

"Miracle Worker" features a solid reggae rhythm throughout. Marley begins toasting, then Stone adds a soulful pop vocal element before Jagger comes in — sounding like Jagger — to bring a rock edge. Stone and Jagger harmonize well in the chorus, the musicianship is excellent and the introduction of fiddle near the end is a neat twist.

Marley is the obvious reggae connection, but Stewart has worked with Jimmy Cliff and Jagger duetted with the late Peter Tosh on "Don't Look Back" in 1978.

I'll be quite happy if the rest of the record is comparable to "Miracle Worker."

SuperHeavy is rounded out by Marley's rhythm section of bassist/composer Shiah Coore and drummer Courtney Diedrick along with a longtime Stewart collaborator, rock violinist Ann Marie Calhoun, who's previously worked with the Foo Fighters. The songs all emerged from studio jam sessions and were written as the singers and players went along.

Rahman wrote "Satyameva Jayate," which translates from Urdu into English as "the truth alone triumphs," and Jagger sings a line in it in Urdu.

"As soon as we started playing together in the studio it gelled, and all these different styles didn’t seem to be a problem to make them fit together," says Jagger.

There still seems to be a desire for another Rolling Stones tour among the nostalgic populace, but I'd be more interested in seeing SuperHeavy — and that's a possibility.

"We haven’t planned to do a tour or anything, but if people really like it maybe we will," says Jagger. "We’d love to get out and play some of it live."

—Steve McLean

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