Bobby Womack returns to the studio to record new album

Soul veteran prepares follow-up to The Bravest Man in the Universe with guests including Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder

Bobby Womack is preparing the follow-up to his 2012 album The Bravest Man in the Universe with Damon Albarn and Richard Russell, this time working with Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart and Snoop Dogg.

"I feel great," the 69-year-old soul singer said in a recent interview with Okayplayer. Despite battles with cancer and a recent Alzheimer's diagnosis, Womack is still playing shows and working toward the release of what will be his 28th studio LP. He even guests on the hotly anticipated new album by rapper Rick Ross.

It wasn't always easy. Coming out of hospital, Womack recalled, was "like a great boxer goin' out, and he can't box … I lost my sharpness, I lost my skills, you know?" But through rehearsing, gigging, writing and recording, Womack's skills returned; he didn't even wait for Albarn and Russell to ring him up.

"I told Damon and Richard that whenever they're available to record I will make myself available," Womack said. "But I was already working on a new album, I have Stevie Wonder on it, I have Rod Stewart, Levert, Snoop Dogg is on it, this lady from Motown – now what was her name?" And it's not just Wonder making a tiny cameo: there are apparently "a lot of songs where you hear Stevie Wonder singing the song and you hear me on the same song". He compared it to "Sam Cooke and Ray Charles … You don't get that style anymore."

Womack's 2012 album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, was one of the Guardian's favourite records of the year. Debuting at No 49 in the UK chart, it brought Womack to Glastonbury and earned him Q's album of the year prize. But it wasn't perfect, Womack admitted. "I woulda put more music in it and stuff like that," he said. "At the same time I went along with it, I liked what we were writing about."

Womack is scheduled to perform in Liverpool and Glasgow at the end of January.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Bobby Womack announces first new album in 13 years
Co-produced by Damon Albarn and Richard Russell, The Bravest Man in the Universe will also feature Lana Del Rey

Sean Michaels

09, Mar, 2012 @11:06 AM

Article image
Bobby Womack reveals he has Alzheimer's disease

Soul singer says he has trouble remembering names of other artists, including Damon Albarn

Sean Michaels

02, Jan, 2013 @11:22 AM

Article image
Stars pay tribute to the great Bobby Womack
Damon Albarn and Ronnie Wood are among scores of musicians offering respects to the great soul singer, who has died at the age of 70

Guardian music

28, Jun, 2014 @10:45 AM

Bobby Womack and Jonathan Ross on 10 years of Gorillaz

Soul singer Bobby Womack reveals how a phone call from Gorillaz helped rekindle his career, and TV presenter Jonathan Ross hails the unlikely cartoon group

Caspar Llewellyn Smith

22, Nov, 2011 @4:14 PM

Article image
Best albums of 2012, No 10: Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe

Caspar Llewellyn Smith: For his first record in more than a decade, Bobby Womack teamed up with Damon Albarn and producer Richard Russell to make an album that amounted to a career resurrection

Caspar Llewellyn Smith

03, Dec, 2012 @2:02 PM

Article image
Bobby Womack: The Bravest Man in the Universe – review

Vintage soul and dubstep combine beautifully on Bobby Womack's guest-heavy new album, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

09, Jun, 2012 @11:05 PM

Article image
Bobby Womack – review

It was a set of two in incompatible halves in which electronica and hip-hop gave way to Sam Cooke and Womack's own eloquent classics, writes Dorian Lynskey

Dorian Lynskey

26, Nov, 2012 @1:10 PM

Article image
Bobby Womack at Glastonbury 2013 – review

The leather-clad legend's reappearance transformed the entire West Holts field into a soul party

Chris Michael

30, Jun, 2013 @10:54 PM

Article image
Bobby Womack: six great performances
Our resident Womack obsessive shares his favourite moments from the late soul legend's incredible career

Paul Simon

28, Jun, 2014 @11:21 AM

Article image
Bobby Womack: watch an unseen interview
As part of XL’s 25th anniversary celebrations, here’s a previously unseen interview with the late, great soul legend

Guardian music

05, Aug, 2014 @2:00 PM