Her 2015 release The Song of the Banjo featured re-imaginings of pop songs like “Time After Time” and “Dance With Me”, celebrity guests like Colin Hay, the Indigo Girls, and Steve Gadd, as well as Jake Shimabukuro on a totally unexpected version of “Feels So Good” originally by Chuck Mangione. And now she is releasing a 360 video of the recording session for “What’s Going On?” featuring the vocals of Keb’ Mo’.
A recent article in No Depression does an excellent job of explaining what it means to pursue musical exploration within the bluegrass tradition and why it’s almost revolutionary to play soul music on the banjo.
“Alison is a banjo picker sans pareil -- always riveting, clear, concise and mindful of all the musicianship displayed on her album.”
~ No Depression
The solo at 3:14 in the video does an excellent job of illustrating the technical and artistic mastery that Alison Brown has achieved on the banjo.
“I’ve always thought of 'What’s Going On?' as a sacred, almost untouchable song but given recent world events I believe the message is just as timely as when Marvin Gaye penned it in 1971,” says Alison. “I reached out to Keb’ Mo’ about the idea of collaborating on a banjo-driven version of the song and he was so enthusiastic about the idea he said he’d be there the next day to record it. I love the fact that our version gives 'What’s Going On?' a new life in the world of Americana and roots music.”
“What’s Going On?” was originally only available as a bonus track through iTunes but will now be available August 31st on all download and streaming services.