Premiere: Willie J & The Bad Books give us a moment to revel in with an exclusively delectable taste of blistering new single, Backdoor Man.

Willie J & The Bad Books, one of Melbourne’s finest blues-rock outfits have given us an early serving of things to come by way of the searing new recording, Backdoor Man.

Following on from their official video release of Ain’t No Fool (story here), the band have quickly followed up with this searing track which has been slowly taking shape throughout many a live set before being served up in its’ current fully-baked form.

An energy-fuelled tune paying loving homage to the blues, Backdoor Man flexes its blues and psychedelic grooves alongside raw riffs and nods to the likes of artists both new and old…….Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Marcus King, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan and even a little bit of Aussie legend, Stevie Wright.

Recorded and produced at guitarist Rick Steward’s home studio, Backdoor Man also lends its authentic charm to the track ultimately being captured in one take, as Rick himself explains, “I didn’t want it to sound too polished, so I set limitation to the amount of microphones used on the drums, I used old mics on vocals, old instruments and old amps, it was hit in one take with minimal overdubbing. I think it’s important to set limits, most of The Beatles records were done with a 4 track, people forget that. I had my old friend and amazing engineer George Carpenter mix it in Queensland and Joe Carra at Crystal Mastering did the master”. And while the energetic new single showcases the band’s modern take on the blues world, Backdoor Man also directly claims its namesake from an old blues term, as lead vocalist and guitarist Willie J Maxwell reveals, “Back Door Man is an old blues term, true to form, when your lover betrays your trust and sneaks in the milkman when you’re spending the day at work“.

For all members of Willie J & The Bad Books, music has been an integral and essential part of life. Springing to life during the pandemic, Will first met future Bad Books drummer Fru Parsons while playing on Brunswick Street. Bassist Matt Forge entered the fray following a conversation with Will over starting a blues and rock band. Matt worked with Rick and resident Bad Books boogie-queen, vocalist and organist Eileen Hodgkins – and the rest, as they say, is history.

Bolstered by a shared adoration for classic tunes and the organic creative process between the quintetthe official debut single from Willie J & The Bad Books has been a long time coming; but with plenty of shows on the local live circuit up their sleeves, as well as some live clips already out in the world, Willie J & The Bad Books are firing on all cylinders going into the last months of 2022 and firmly into 2023. 

“We’re all old souls, we want to make music reminiscent of what we love,” shares Rick of the Willie J & The Bad Books ultimate ethos. “We don’t care what genre is popular, we just want to play music that’s true to us. It feels like it’s been a long time coming and it’s super exciting to finally be releasing this single!”.

And if you’re in the mood for some bewitching grooves and searing rock, Willie J & The Bad Books have a special single launch show lined up for Friday January 6 at Northcote Social Club, and a show ready to roll on Saturday January 28 at The Blues Train in Queenscliff, Victoria. As to what we can expect from the upcoming shows? “A lot of boogying, toe-tapping, hips-swinging, hard hitting tunes,” Will concludes. “We bring the rock, you do the roll.”

Backdoor Man is officially released on Wednesday, 16th November.

Feature Image: As supplied

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