John Rooney Details The Making Of JOY, Shares Video Performance Of DON'T GIVE UP NOW Live From Studio 606
Pulling back the curtain on the star-studded sessions that produced his latest album, Joy, John Rooney has opened up on the creation of the album on Medium and shared video of a live performance of "Don't Give Up Now," filmed during recording at the legendary Studio 606.
A centerpiece of the album, the vibrant, cathartic energy of the song is brought to life by a tremendous cast of session musicians. Just on this song alone, you can pick out heavy hitters Spooner Oldham (Joecer, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan), Benmont Tench (keyboardist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Jim Keltner (session drummer for John Lennon, The Traveling Wilburys, Ry Cooder, and Barbra Streisand), and Rusty Anderson (guitarist for Paul McCartney), among the players digging into the song's tight grooves.
Detailing the lead-up to and recording of Joy, John explains his surprise at how fluidly the sessions came together. "I already had plans to do an album with Kevin Shirley (producer for Journey, Rush, and Led Zeppelin) in Las Vegas, but I thought that I'd like to do two of the songs with Don Dixon (producer of R.E.M.'s Murmur) on production," John explains, "I rang him up and told him about the people I'd like to have on the session. He said, '"It's doable, but it might be a bit hard to get all those guys in one place at one time."'
But on the strength of the songs and their admiration for John's vision of an album inspired by the double keyboard attack of Joecer's Mad Dogs and Englishmen, the players came together quickly. "I just wanted to do a couple of songs with this lineup if it was achievable," he says, "It all came to be very quickly. Literally within weeks."
Read more about the making of Joy and check out the band playing "Don't Give Up Now" here.
Joy is out now on all platforms.