It can be argued that it was Booker T. Jones who set the cast for modern soul music and is largely responsible for its rise and enduring popularity. On classic Stax hits like “Green Onions,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “Time Is Tight,” and “Melting Pot” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee and GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient pushed the music’s boundaries, refined it to its essence and then injected it into the nation’s bloodstream. Sound the Alarm, the new album from Booker T, finds the Hammond B3 organ master looking ahead yet again, laying down his distinctive bedrock grooves amid a succession of sparkling collaborations with some of contemporary R&B’s most gifted young voices.
Flush with new ideas and young talent, Sound the Alarm is also an exciting reconnection to the Stax Records tradition, which began for Booker T as a teen, when the Bluff City label was founded out of McLemore Avenue’s Satellite Record Shop. “I found the music that I loved for the rest of my life at Satellite Records, while I was on my bike soliciting customers on my paper route,” he recalled. “I walked into the lobby of the Capitol Theater, and it had been transformed into a record store, and there was Steve Cropper playing records for me there when I was in ninth grade. That legacy is my heart and my life. That’s where I come from.” And, Booker adds, “I have music inside me, and I’m looking forward to the future. I’m very excited about making some things happen.”