Roll With The Punches, the Belfast legends 37th album, sees him simultaneously hand-picking a selection of rhythmnblues classics (by the likes of Bo Diddley, Mose Allison, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Lightnin Hopkins, among others) and recording a set of new self-written songs.
Songs including Count Basie and Jimmy Rushings Goin To Chicago, Bo Diddleys Ride On Josephine and Lightnin Hopkins Automobile Blues are among Morrisons raw, intimate reinterpretations of some of the cornerstones of rocknroll, alongside five original numbers including Transformation, Fame, Ordinary People and the titular song, which is co-written with Don Black.
Roll With The Punches was produced by Van Morrison and recorded with an incredible team of studio collaborators including Chris Farlowe, Georgie Fame, Jeff Beck, Paul Jones and Jason Rebello.
Van commented: From a very early age, I connected with the blues. The thing about the blues is you dont dissect it you just do it. Ive never over-analysed what I do; I just do it. Music has to be about just doing it and thats the way the blues works its an attitude. I was lucky to have met people who were the real thing people like John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Witherspoon, Bo Diddley, Little Walter and Mose Allison. I got to hang out with them and absorb what they did. They were people with no ego whatsoever and they helped me learn a lot.
The songs on Roll With The Punches whether Ive written them or not theyre performance oriented, he continues. Each song is like a story and Im performing that story. Thats been forgotten over years because people over-analyse things. I was a performer before I started writing songs and Ive always felt like thats what I do.
"Roll With the Punches includes tunes by Bo Diddley ("I Can Tell," "Ride on Josephine"), Lightnin' Hopkins ("Automobile Blues") and Little Walter ("Mean Old World"). Several of Van Morrison's selections are popular post-war standards, like "Stormy Monday," which has been recorded by Lou Rawls and the Allman Brothers and lead single "Bring It on Home to Me," originally performed by Sam Cooke and later rendered as a duet by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas." - rollingstone.com
Made in Netherlands
1. Roll With The Punches
3. I Can Tell
4. Stormy Monday / Lonely Avenue
5. Goin' To Chicago
7. Too Much Trouble
8. Bring It On Home To Me
9. Ordinary People
10. How Far From God
11. Teardrops From My Eyes
12. Automobile Blues
14. Mean Old World
15. Ride On Josephine