Bobby McFerrin Brings It All Back Home With New Album SPIRITYOUALL Today

By: May. 14, 2013
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For decades, Bobby McFerrin has broken all the rules. The 10-time Grammy winner waged a quiet revolution, blurring the distinction between pop music and high art, goofing around barefoot in the world's finest concert halls, exploring uncharted vocal territory, inspiring a whole new generation of a cappella singers and the beatbox movement. Now he surprises us by bringing it all back home with his new album, spirityouall, available today, May 14, 2013 from Sony Masterworks.

On spirityouall Bobby McFerrin invites us to sit on the stoop awhile and listen as he throws some unexpected new ingredients into the melting pot and reinvents Americana. He embraces it all - bluegrass and the baroque, heartfelt lyrics and wordless melodies, joy and sorrow - across genres, across boundaries, across generations. He invites us back to the great folk tradition of lifting our voices to sing together through life's trials and triumphs.

spirityouall features seven classic spirituals, an unexpected cover (Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released"), and five original tunes ranging from a celebratory hoedown ("Rest") to a polemic anthem ("Woe"), to a down and dirty blues setting of Psalm 25:15. The stellar band includes Esperanza Spalding, who sings with Bobby on three tracks, Larry Grenadier on bass, multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell, drummers Ali Jackson and Charley Drayton, and accordionist/keyboard wizard/arranger/musical director Gil Goldstein. spirityouall was recorded at Avatar Recording and Shelter Island Sound, both in New York City.

The bluesy, feel-good recording is an unexpected move from the music-industry rebel who singlehandedly redefined the role of the human voice with his a cappella hit "Don't Worry, Be Happy," his collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea and the Vienna Philharmonic, his improvising choir Voicestra, and his legendary solo vocal performances. spirityouall continues Bobby's lifelong quest to integrate all the influences of the musical universe. But as in so many great American tales, sometimes it turns out that everything one is searching for is in one's own backyard.

spirityouall honors the legacy of Bobby's father, the opera singer Robert McFerrin, Sr., the first African-American to sign a contract with the Metropolitan Opera Company and a renowned interpreter of the American Negro spiritual. It was the elder McFerrin's 1957 recording,"Deep River" and Other Classic Negro Spirituals, that inspired Bobby to record his own set of devotional songs. He sat on the idea for some 20 years before deciding that the time was right. "I had the idea of taking some of my father's pieces and reinterpreting them. In the meantime, I had also been writing some pieces that had a spiritual bent, and so the album is a combination of originals, traditional spirituals and things I heard my father sing."Bobby grew up absorbing and singing these songs.

Three of the traditional numbers featured on spirityouall - the opening track "Every Time I Feel the Spirit," "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "Fix Me Jesus" - also appeared on Bobby's father's album, but any similarities end there. Bobby McFerrin's wholly improvisational approach to vocalizing is markedly different than his dad's more formal operatic style, and the usage of rhythm instruments on spirityouall - the title a clever play on the word spiritual - as well as acoustic and pedal steel guitars, accordions, violin, mandolin and electronic keyboards, places Gil Goldstein's elegant, rousing arrangements and McFerrin's uplifting vocals more in line with contemporary Americana than conventional gospel. What attracted McFerrin to delivering his own interpretations of these songs, and to write several new ones, was simply his lifelong belief in what they say. The spirituals are about liberation and courage, the human condition, the pioneering spirit, the search for strength in the face of adversity, and the journey toward a better place.

spirityouallis a deeply personal statement for Bobby McFerrin. "I couldn't do anything without faith," he says. "I couldn't open up my eyes, I couldn't walk, I couldn't speak, I couldn't sing. What I want everyone to experience at the end of my concerts isthis sense of rejoicing. I don't want the audience to be blown away by what I do, I want them to have this sense of real joy, from the depths of their being. Then you open up a place where grace can come in."

Bobby McFerrin'sspirityouall album will be available for pre-order beginning this month, March 2013. He is currently on tour with a new band in support of the release.

Lift your voice, open your heart and sing along.

Sony Masterworks comprises Masterworks Broadway, Masterworks, OKeh, Portrait, RCA Red Seal and Sony Classical imprints. For email updates and information please visit

For updated information and tour dates visit:,,

U.S. Tour Dates

March 25, 2013

Ogden, Utah

Peery's Egyptian Theatre

March 26, 2013

Logan, Utah

Ellen Eccles Theatre

March 27, 2013

Logan, Utah

Ellen Eccles Theatre

March 28, 2013

Idaho Falls, ID

Civic Auditorium

March 30, 2013

San Francisco, CA

Davies Symphony Hall

April 2, 2013

Santa Barbara, CA

The Granada Theatre

April 3, 2013

Los Angeles, CA

Disney Hall

April 5, 2013

Davis, CA

Mondavi Center

April 6, 2013

Reno, NV

Grand Theater at the Grand Sierra Resort

April 7, 2013

Las Vegas, NV

The Smith Center

April 9, 2013

Greenville, NC

East Carolina University/Wright Auditorium

April 11, 2013

Greenville, SC

Peace Center Hall

April 12, 2013

Roanoke, VA

Shaftman Performance Hall

April 14, 2013

Boston, MA

Symphony Hall

April 16, 2013

Garden City, NY

Adelphi U Long Island

April 18, 2013

Ann Arbor, MI

Hill Auditorium

April 19, 2013

Grand Rapids, MI

Forest Hills Fine Arts Center

April 20, 2013

Chicago, IL

Symphony Center

April 23, 2013

Akron, OH

The University of Akron E. J. Thomas Hall

April 25, 2013

St. Louis, MO

Sheldon Concert Hall

April 26, 2013

Kansas City, MO

Helzberg Hall

April 27, 2013

Minneapolis, MN

Orchestra Hall

May 13, 2013

Washington, D.C.

Kennedy Center

More dates to be

announced soon

SOURCE Sony Masterworks


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