Stubborn Heart is the first full length album from the renowned rocknroll writer Larry “Ratso” Sloman. He's 70 now and his immersion in music for about 50 years is total. He was Rolling Stone magazine's man feature writer for major pieces on stars like Lou Reed, George Harrison and Leonard Cohen. Bob Dylan's invited him to documents his Rolling Thunder Revue tour, way back then, which became 'On the Road With Bob Dylan' which Dylan himself dubbed the The War and Peace of Rock and Roll. He's written lyrics for John Cale and many more.
Okay so that doesn't matter, after all, Neil Tennant edited Smash Hits, I think and then there was The Legend at NME. Writing about it doesn't always mean you can do it. Although, Snivelling Shits, I liked that. But it can help if you do know some of the moves. Some of the moves like Jagger probably.
Stubborn Heart is Ratso's first LP, featuring the likes of these incredibles... Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Sharon Robinson and Yasmine Hamdan amongst an an all-star cavalcade of guests. The record can probably sub-in for a new Leonard Cohen LP you won't be getting this year.
Each track carries a significant and often astonishing history. For instance, the John Cale collaboration ‘Dying On The Vine’, was originally conceived in hotel room off Sunset Blvd. whilst trading lines with Tom Waits and Chuck E. Weiss, whereas Sharon Robinson was convinced to sing on the record in exchange for Ratso writing a Leonard Cohen preface for free – described by Ratso as an "old school barter."
The opening single, the lushly lovely, Our Lady of Light, is a duet with Nick Cave. Irresistible organ grinding on there and the lightest piano. Yeah, it's good. Also available now is the gorgeously layered, I Want Everything, which features Yasmine Hamdan, although probably not quite enough.
Of course I just love that Ratso is 70 and releasing his first LP. Why Not? At 70 all I'll be doing probably is patting the wait staff on the ass while they ask me whether I'd like my pancakes pureed.
Stubborn Heart is available on April 5th from Lucky Number. You can hear Ratso with Nick Cave and Yasmine Hamdan here, below...
Our Lady Of Light (ft. Nick Cave)
I Want Everything (ft Yasmine Hamdan)
Pre Order Ratso's Stubborn Heart here