Drummer Releases Benefit Album for Motown Funk Brother Eddie Willis
"Tribute to Funk Brother Eddie Willis" is a new live album by drummer Drew Schultz raising funds for legendary Motown studio guitarist, Eddie Willis, who performed on countless hit songs by artists including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Temptations, Four Tops, and more.
As one of several guitarists for Motown's recording band The Funk Brothers, Eddie Willis has been a part of music's greatest hit maching, playing on more number one hits than the Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley combined. Although the Funk Brothers were compensated for their time in the recording studio, Eddie Willis does not see residual royalties from many of the hits he recorded on. Fighting the effects of Polio, the 81 year old legend is no longer touring. Although an award-winning documentary film, Standing In The Shadows Of Motown, helped shed light on the members of The Funk Brothers, many music fans still do not know the names of the musicians who crafted the "Motown Sound" heard on hits by artists including Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Temptaitons, Four Tops, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Jr. Walker & The All Stars, and many more. Recently, Eddie Willis' wife was the victim of a viscious dog attach that left her needing reconstructive surgeries and recovering from several broken bones. On Friday, September 22nd, a live album is being released to help raise funds for Eddie and his wife.
Recorded in 2013 at a Detroit nightclub, "Tribute To Funk Brother Eddie Willis" features electrifying renditions of hits that the Funk Brothers recorded including "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours," "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," "Dancing In The Street," and more. The album is spearheaded by a young Detroit-based drummer / songwriter / producer Drew Schultz, who has himself worked with artists including the Temptations, Four Tops, Funk Brothers, Martha Reeves, Aretha Franklin, Maurice White of Earth Wind & Fire, and others. The personell on the album includes Schultz's band, The Funk Machine, as well as musicians and artists who worked with the Funk Brothers throughout the years. The album includes speeches about the influence of the Funk Brothers, as well as performances featuring:
- Dennis Coffey: Session Guitarist and solo artist who brought the wah-wah and other effects to the Motown sound. Appearing courtesy of Resonance Records, Dennis performs an energetic rendition of his hit "Scorpio," which featured many of the Funk Brothers on the original recording.
- Carolyn Crawford: Motown artist who was signed to the company at the age of fourteen.
- Ralphe Armstrong: Bassist for Mahavishnu Orchestra who was a protege of Funk Brother's bassist James Jamerson. Armstrong has recorded and performed with artists including Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, and many more.
- Paul Riser: Prolific arranger who composed the horn and string lines for many hit songs on Motown.
- Ed Wolfrum: Studio engineer who worked with The Funk Brothers at Motown, Golden World, United Sound, and many more recording studios throughout the Motor City.
- Spyder Turner: Northern soul legend who recorded and performed with The Funk Brothers
- Members of the touring band who traveled with The Funk Brothers after the Standing In The Shadows Of Motown documentary including Delbert Nelson, Treaty Womack, Donna Curtin, Robert Jones, Brian Asselin, Steve Berndt, and Kelly Craig.
In addition to renditions of well known hits, "Tribute To Funk Brother Eddie Willis" also includes performances of deeper cuts including tracks that the Funk Brothers recorded under the banner of organist Earl Van Dyke, and a James Jamerson solo single entitled "Fever In The Funk House" that went unreleased for many years. Eddie Willis himself joins the celebration by speaking about his contributions to Motown and his memories of his fellow musicians.
100% of the profits made by the album (after royalties paid to the original rights holders) will be donated to Eddie Willis and his wife. Drew Schultz - "Tribute To Funk Brother Eddie Willis" will be available on all digital music platforms on Friday, September 22nd, 2017.
Find more about Drew Schultz at http://www.DSdrums.com
Tribute to Funk Brother Eddie Willis - http://ow.ly/