Continuing the late career surge that started with 2002’s Grammy winning Don’t Give Up On Me, The King of Rock ‘n’ Soul, Solomon Burke, keeps his winning streak alive with his new album, Like a Fire. Enlisting a roster of songwriters made up of old friends (including Eric Clapton, Keb Mo’, & Steve Jordan) and new friends (Ben Harper and Jesse Harris), Burke looks to, “sing for all the people, young, old, all around the world,” and with the help of his many friends, he does. Burke uses his Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame soul to give life to a series of songs that take a look at the hardships of the times, yet he delivers with his unwavering optimism and faith in the human spirit.
Keb Mo’s “We Don’t Need It”, an emotional look at a family who has fallen on hard times, was, for Burke, something that needed to be sung now: “This song is so unique; it is such an important message for a lot of people right now in this day and time.” “A Minute to Rest and a Second to Pray” was a spontaneous session with new friend Harper, who was literally writing lyrics, and handing them to Burke, who then immediately sang and recorded them. The collaboration with guitar god Clapton yielded two tunes (the title track and “Thank You”), and was for Burke, this was a simple affair, “The magic between Eric and I was easy, when he starts playing I just start singing.”
Despite the different visions of the diverse roster of songwriters who helped in the creation of Like a Fire, all were united into one singular positive outlook on life through Burke’s eternally timeless voice. And together they crafted an album that is a powerful reflection of the times and a comforting triumph for the inner soul.
Like a Fire is out now on Shout Factory.