In February 2020, a group of Tulsa musicians travelled to Leon Russell’s famed Paradise Studio at Grand Lake to record the first album tracked there since 1978. Tulsan Rick Huskey has spent the last 30 years preserving and restoring the space, honouring its history while preparing for a new chapter.
The narrow, winding road one must travel to reach the compound provided time for reflection. Some of the biggest names in the history of music travelled the same path years before. That realisation was both inspiring and daunting. Entering the studio for the first time, the musicians were awestruck. Decades later, the vibe is still alive. Seventeen tracks were recorded over the course of four days – mostly live, with very few overdubs.
While there was a core group of players throughout the session, a grand total of 20 Tulsa musicians participated in the recording.
The Oklahoma songs chosen for the album represent the famous to the obscure, and everything in-between.
This recording honours those who came before and made it possible for Tulsa musicians to have an identity and a music scene today. Thank you to Leon for blazing a trail and building this lake palace. Thank you to all of the Oklahoma musicians over the years who have been role models through their authenticity and spirit of community. This record is dedicated to them.
Back To Paradise:
A Tulsa Tribute to Okie Music.
UK/EU Release: 28th August 2020
Format: Vinyl, CD & Digital
1. I’ll Make Love To You Anytime (JJ Cale) – PAUL BENJAMAN
2. Crossing Over (Steve Ripley) – JOHN FULLBRIGHT
3. Tramp (Lowell Fulson) – BRANJAE
4. Rock n Roll Gypsies (Gypsy Trips) – JESSE AYCOCK
5. I Yike It (The Gap Band) – CHARLIE REDD & BRIANA WRIGHT
6. Helluva Deal (Don White) – PAUL BENJAMAN
7. Black Cherry (Junior Markham) – JESSE AYCOCK
8. Blind Man (Tom Skinner / Don Morris) – DUSTIN PITTSLEY
9. If The Shoe Fits (Leon Russell) – JOHN FULLBRIGHT
10. I’m On Fire (Dwight Twilley) – SARAH FRICK
11. Tulsa County (Jesse Ed Davis) – JESSE AYCOCK
12. Ride Me High (JJ Cale) – PAUL BENJAMAN
13. I’m Gonna Get To Tulsa (Cliff Beasley) – JACOB TOVAR
14. Misery Kickin’ In (Steve Pryor) – PAUL BENJAMAN
15. Jealous Man (Hoyt Axton) – JOHN FULLBRIGHT
16. Can’t Jive Enough (Jim Byfield) – DUSTIN PITTSLEY
17. Mona Sweet Mona (Teegarden & Van Winkle) – PAUL BENJAMAN
Also featuring: Paddy Ryan, Aaron Boehler, Brandon Holder, Chris Combs, Seth Lee Jones, Jake Lynn, Bo Hallford, Matt Teegarden, Corey Mauser, Andy McCormick, and Austin Stunkard