Tuff Gong Collective/UMe/Ghetto Youths International has announced Stephen Marley’s upcoming album, “Old Soul,” scheduled for digital release on September 15, 2023.
The album is a testament to Stephen Marley’s musical prowess, featuring a constellation of exceptional guest artists, including Eric Clapton, Bob Weir, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Buju Banton, and Slightly Stoopid. To mark this exciting announcement, Stephen Marley’s new single, “Cool As The Breeze,” is now streaming across platforms and available as an instant gratification track for those who pre-order the album.
“Old Soul,” Stephen Marley’s fifth solo album, breaks new ground, showcasing the artist in a fresh light. Known for his meticulous studio work and dynamic live performances, Marley’s latest project accentuates his spontaneous live energy. While the Covid lockdown curtailed his touring, Marley set up a studio on a remote Florida farm, where nightly jam sessions in a converted garage birthed the album’s essence. Stripping down to a core ensemble of binghi drums, bass, acoustic guitar, and flute, Marley’s creativity flowed freely, spanning from original compositions to cherished classics.
The album reflects Marley’s fearless pursuit of diverse musical expressions. “You have to be true to yourself,” he asserts. “I refuse to be put into any category. I am inspired by everything.” He masterfully blends genres, from jazz to reggae, embodying a musical journey that defies conventions.
“Old Soul” resonates with Stephen’s personal reflections, capturing his profound connection to his roots and upbringing in the illustrious Marley family. With an emotive lyrical backdrop, the title track, released earlier this year, offers a glimpse into his soul: “I’m an old soul, living in the body of a 9-year-old / Guess I’ve been here before.”
The album is enriched by collaborations with influential artists. Stephen and Ziggy Marley unite on “There’s A Reward,” a heartfelt homage to Joe Higgs, who mentored the Marley siblings during their formative years. Meanwhile, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley joins Stephen on “Cast The First Stone,” a poignant composition set against an evocative backdrop.
The album culminates with transcendent collaborations. Eric Clapton infuses his iconic guitar sound into a reimagined version of Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff.” Grateful Dead legend Bob Weir and singer-songwriter Jack Johnson join Stephen on the closing track, “Winding Roads.”
Stephen Marley’s “Old Soul Tour Unplugged 2023” is set to commence from September 8 to October 22, with Mike Love opening on select dates. This tour will bring the evocative journey of “Old Soul” to life, captivating audiences with a stripped-down, acoustic presentation.