At the age 71, Jerry released his first solo album on a major label that is already critically acclaimed and features the backing of Nashville’s finest recording artists including Jim Lauderdale, the McCrary Sisters, Eric Brace and many more. Tune In
“Affecting throughout, it demands playing.” – The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal named Just a Mortal Man one of the ‘Six Retro Roots Albums to Jump-Start Your Summer.’ Click here to read the article.
Jerry and producer Eric Brace talk with Joel Rose about Just a Mortal Man.
Full audio and story here: npr.org/2015/05/03/403290204/soul-singer-jerry-lawsons-just-a-mortal-man-almost-came-true
With his new album Just A Mortal Man out this week, his solo debut, and even after half a century in the music business, Jerry says it’s a thrill to see his own name alone on the marquee. A lot of people may be wondering what took him so long. Listen Here
This is Jerry Lawson’s masterpiece, the album of a lifetime that he has been crafting over the past two years with Grammy-nominated producer Eric Brace. And now it’s here.
As you all know, Jerry spent more then 40 years as lead singer of The Persuasions, arranging and producing 22 albums of incomparable a cappella music that has inspired everyone from Boyz II Men to the cast of “The Sing Off.”
The one thing Jerry has never done is record as a solo artist with a band. Just a Mortal Man is that record.
Here’s an excellent Q&A with Jerry (and a splendid review) by Henry Carrigan on the No Depression site: http://nodepression.com/article/jerry-lawson-brings-it-home
Here’s some of what Henry wrote: “Although 2015 is still young, Jerry Lawson’s new album Just a Mortal Man already wins the award for top soul album of the year. Lawson possesses a genius for understanding the heart of a song’s lyrics and singing them straight to the hearts and souls of his listeners.”
With elegance, heart, and soul, Jerry makes the thirteen songs on Just a Mortal Man his own, songs from a diverse group of writers including Paul Simon, Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, Ayo, Phil Lee, Peter Cooper, and producer Eric Brace. And he pays tribute to two of his heroes, recording tunes originally done by The Temptations’ David Ruffin and Bobby “Blue” Bland.
While guest musicians like Jim Lauderdale and The McCrary Sisters also make appearances on Just a Mortal Man, the album is about Jerry, singing with a sweet and smoky voice that’s only grown richer throughout his 71 years.”
If you’d like to watch a short film on the making of Just a Mortal Man, you can click here.
“The power of this album lies in Lawson’s powerful and passionate interpretation of each of the album’s 13 tracks. Not only does he know his way around a song, but he possesses a genius for understanding the heart of the song’s lyrics and singing them straight to the hearts and souls of his listeners.” – Henry Carrigan, No Depression.
“I’ll Come Running Back to You” (Live with Eric Brace & Peter Cooper)
A note from producer Eric Brace about the video:
“We were nearly done with the album when we went into Joe Pisapia’s East Nashville studio with The McCrary Sisters to capture their beautiful voices on five of the songs on Just a Mortal Man. Jerry had flown in from Phoenix to help arrange their stunningly layered parts. He was thrilled to work with the sisters, because they’re the daughters of the Rev. Sam McCrary, founder of the legendary Fairfield Four, who had influenced Jerry so much in his early years. The session was a joy, and after Ann, Deborah, Regina, and Freda had done what they do so well, and said their goodbyes, Jerry and I were in the studio talking. I grabbed one of Joe’s guitars and started strumming a song that Jerry and I have performed together before, “I’ll Come Running Back to You,” done originally by the great Sam Cooke, another huge influence on Jerry. He started singing it, and I asked Joe if he could just “roll tape” for a couple of minutes while we positioned ourselves around the microphone. I shouted for my friend Peter Cooper to come out of the control room and into the studio and face the mic. Jerry jumped in, and nailed it. We were lucky that Stacie Huckeba, our videographer was still rolling, and caught it all. We all loved the results so much that we put this impromptu performance on Just a Mortal Man, putting it at the very end, literally the last thing we recorded for the album — one mic, one guitar, and one astonishing lead vocalist, Jerry Lawson.”
Just weeks before the release of his solo debut album Just a Mortal Man, Jerry was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Contemporary A cappella Society during the Boston Sings! Festival (BOSS), April 11th 2015. The annual awards show is called the Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), and the Lifetime Achievement CARA goes to artists “whose work over the course of a career has been singularly important and influential.”
Jerry’s story is truly miraculous — he was at death’s door just last August having suffered from a torn esophagus. Now he is fully recovered and ready to take his soulful voice, often compared to that of Sam Cooke, on tour.
Read the rest of the press release here: http://shorefire.com/releases/entry/jerry-lawson-receives-lifetime-achievement-award-readies-for-solo-debut-apr
The folks over at Billboard.com have premiered the title track, “I’m Just a Mortal Man” from Jerry’s upcoming album and posted a great interview with Jerry. Click here to read.
Red Beet Records will release Jerry’s solo debut, Just a Mortal Man on April 28.