“Etta James sang from real pain, which truly made the blues and soul of her music special,” says Leela, who has worked with everyone from Ray Charles and BB King to Kanye West and John Legend. "Very few artists are able to convey that sincere pain in their music."
As the title states (“In The Spirit of Etta James”), Leela's new CD will pay homage to Rock and Roll and Blues Hall of Fame legend Etta James, who passed away in January (2012) at 74.
"I'm very excited to be working with Shanachie Records again on another album. I think Randall Grass (Shanachie GM) is great and the entire Shanachie family has always been good to me. To have the opportunity to do an album paying tribute to the late Etta James is an honor and it is my intent to keep her legacy of music alive in doing so," adds James.
"In The Spirit of Etta James" will feature Leela's distinctive versions of songs previously done by Etta James as well as a couple of originals inspired by the iconic singer. The album will include both signature Etta James songs like "I'd Rather Go Blind,” "Something's Got A Hold Of Me" and "At Last," and more obscure compositions like "It Hurts So Much,” "I Never Meant To Love Him" and "I Want To Ta Ta You Baby." In The Spirit of Etta James will be produced in Nashville by Grammy-winning producers Shannon Sanders and Drew Ramsey, who together and separately have produced hits for India. Arie, John Legend, Jonny Lang, Heather Headley and Anthony David, among others. Look for a track to be released to the internet by April and for the full album as early as June.
(Photo Credit: Duan Davis Photography)