The Memphis soul legend returns to Stax Records with his upcoming album 'This Is Where I Live.'
Photo by Ginette Callaway, courtesy of William Bell
Memphis is one of the most storied cities in music, and a lot of that reputation has to do with Stax Records, the home of such artists as Otis Redding and Booker T. and the M.G.'s. Memphis soul is literally a thing because of Stax. And a lot of Stax Records' reputation has to do with with William Bell, the artist behind such hits as "You Don't Miss Your Water" and "I Forgot To Be Your Lover."
Stax as it had existed folded in the late 70s, and it eventually became a catalog and reissue label. Bell moved on to new pursuits, founding his own label, Wilbe Records, and working with other artists. But Stax reformed in 2006, and now, for the first time in more than 40 years, William Bell is releasing new music on the label, in the form of a new album called This Is Where I Live. We're excited to premiere the title track below.
"I was born in Memphis in a different world," the song begins, and then Bell lays out his biography, tracing his life from the first time he heard Sam Cooke to his first trip to New York to perform at age 16 to the excitement that came from writing hit songs that took him touring all over the world. "Been around the world, now I'm heading home," he concludes, offering up this love letter: "This is where I live / This is where I give / All my love, all my time / all my money, every dime"
"This song is truly about where I live, and the way I live, because music is my life. It's also tells a bit of my life story," he explained over email. "It was co-written by John Leventhal, who has been the songwriter I have clicked with the most since I worked with Booker T. Jones back at Stax Records."
It's resonant, wise, and considered music, the kind of direct songwriting that helped Bell make his name, sung in his rich, sturdy voice. Check it out below, and pre-order This Is Where I Live here.
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