Legendary Stax Records guitarist Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MGs) and iconic blue-eyed soul singer/keyboardist Felix Cavaliere (the Rascals) have joined forces for the second time to roll out Midnight Flyer, the follow up to their 2008 collaboration Nudge It Up a Notch. Recorded in Nashville, the 12-track package showcases the Memphis-raised Cropper's guitar genius and the Jersey-bred Cavaliere's sweet soul vocals, leaving the listener to enjoy a delicious melding of two musical giants still at the top of their game.
Peeling Back The (Green) Onion: Midnight Flyer opens with the luscious "You Give Me All I Need," a breezy mid-tempo gem that finds Cropper coaxing sensual sounds from his six-string, while Cavaliere croons "You give me all I need/you bring the man out of me." The two complement each other like coffee and cream, proving that despite growing up in vastly different zip codes, their shared love of soul knows no boundaries. "Felix and I come from pretty much the same musical school but from different geographical locations," says Cropper. "He's a Jersey boy at heart, and I grew up in Memphis, but when soul meets soul, what can you say? There are no borders."
Otis Redding ("Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay"), just to name three. In subsequent years, Cropper has appeared on records with Jeff Beck, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and the Blues Brothers, among many others.
Felix Cavaliere made his name in the mid-60s as the lead singer/keyboardist and main songwriter for the Rascals ("Groovin'," "How Can I Be Sure," "A Beautiful Morning," "People Got To Be Free"), originally known as the Young Rascals. Known for his tasty keyboard work as well, he recalls the first time he went on stage with the band: "When we went on stage for the first time, the first thing I saw was a Hammond B-3 organ. I had seen them before but I had never touched one in my life."
Additional tracks on Midnight Flyer include the groovy "Chance with Me," the roof-raising "Move the House," the self-explanatory "Sexy Lady," "Early Morning Riser," "Do It Like This," and a killer cover of the soul classic "I Can't Stand the Rain." With their second collaboration, Cropper and Cavaliere seem to take their own advice: they named their 2008 debut Nudge It Up a Notch and that's exactly what they do on Midnight Flyer.
"Green" In Black And White: Enjoy vintage black & white footage of Steve Cropper in Booker T. & the MGs performing "Green Onions" in 1966:
As A Matter of Fact
* Steve Cropper was born October 21, 1941 in Dora, Missouri and moved to Memphis at the age of 9.
* Cropper was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 as a member of Booker T. & the MGs.
* Felix Cavaliere was born November 29, 1942 in Pelham, NY and started formal piano lessons by the age of 6.
* Cavaliere was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 as a member of the (Young) Rascals.