Booker T Twitter Updates

Booker T Returns To Stax With 'Sound The Alarm' Featuring Mayer Hawthorne, Anthony Hamilton, Vintage Trouble, Estellle, Gary Clark Jr. + More June 25
  June 3, 2013  
Booker T. Jones will follow back-to-back GRAMMY wins for his previous twoalbums with 'Sound The Alarm' out June 25 on Stax/Concord Music Group. This marks Booker's return to Stax, a label revered for the gritty soul sound he helped create with Memphis' first integrated band in the early '60s, and features collaborations with some of the finest talents in modern soul and R&B including Mayer Hawthorne, Anthony Hamilton, Vintage Trouble, Estelle, Gary Clark, Jr., Luke James and more.

'Sound The Alarm' is a celebration of the past, present and future of R&B with flares of hip-hop bravado on the title track with Mayer Hawthorne and "Gently" with Anthony Hamilton, plus an explosive performance from Vintage Trouble's Ty Taylor on "Your Love Is No Love." Booker's B3 is front and center, especially on instrumentals "Feel Good," "Austin City Blues" with Gary Clark, Jr. and "Fun," a joyous, pulsing jam. "Watch You Sleeping" features Bill Withers' daughter Kori on a vocal duet with Booker, and an instrumental with his son Ted on guitar on "Father Son Blues" closes the album.

Booker T wrote or co-wrote all twelve songs on 'Sound The Alarm.' He co-produced the album with brothers Bobby Ross and Issiah "IZ" Avila, who haveworked with Usher and Mary J. Blige. The Avila brothers also play in the rhythm section on most of the tracks.

ROLLING STONE: 'Sound the Alarm' Album Premier!
  June 19, 2013  
"Here you can take an exclusive first listen to Sound the Alarm, which was released on his first label, the venerable Stax Records. On opener "Sound the Alarm," the lead guitar riff and Hawthorne's vocals slink around snappy percussion, and "Fun" finds Jones constructing a thumping piece of instrumental pop blues. Estelle shows up on the soulful atmospheric stomper "Can't Wait," while album highlight "Austin City Blues" finds hotshot guitarist Clark Jr. weaving licks with ease around the heavenly wail of Jones' organ." LISTEN HERE!
THE GRIO FEATURE: Booker T. Jones, '66 Impala' feat. Sheila E. and Poncho Sanchez: Exclusive Song Premiere'
  June 13, 2013  
Check out Booker T. Jone’s new cut, “66 Impala” featuring Sheila E. and Poncho Sanchez exclusively on TheGrio.
BILLBOARD Booker T. Jones, 'Watch You Sleeping' feat. Kori Withers: Exclusive Song Premiere'
  June 5, 2013  
The song "Watch You Sleeping", a funky slow-burner at nearly four minutes long, features Kori Withers on vocals. Withers, daughter of major soul player Bill Withers, adds a saccharine vocal to Jones's deeper croon and the track premiers exclusively on

ESQUIRE MAGAZINE: Exclusive: Listen to Booker T. Jones and Gary Clark Jr.'s 'Austin City Blues'
  May 30, 2013  

Listen to 'Austin City Blues' featuring Gary Clark Jr. from Booker's upcoming new album and read the full Esquire Magazine article HERE.

OKAY PLAYER PREMIERS NEW SONG: "Sound the Alarm" feat. Mayor Hawthorne
  May 23, 2013  

Case you didn’t get the news, Booker T. Jones–he of Booker T & The MGs fame–is back home, having returned to the revitalized Stax Records label in Memphis to put out his new full length album Sound The Alarm. Dedicated Okayplayers already knew thatBooker’s work with The Roots had opened up a 2nd chapter in the soul giant’s storied career and the new record represents a quantum leap forward in the evolution of the Booker T sound, incorporating the latest approaches to musical production with his genius for organ and keys-driven composition. Appropriately the record includes collaborations with core Okayplayer folks like Estelle, Anthony Hamilton and Gary Clark Jr.–not to mention Sheila E.! But there could not be a better standard bearer and manifesto for this new Booker T invasion than the title track and 2nd single from the record, “Sound The Alarm” featuring young soul cat Mayer Hawthorne on vocal duties–and OKP is incredibly proud to be hosting the song’s World Premiere! Kicking off with an echoey sample-driven intro, the song quickly resolves to fight song for the game called “one man taking on the universe,” marked by a shiver-inducing chorus of churchy vocal runs and a guitar lick with the spooky minor-keyed drive of classic Memphis soul. Stream below to see what I’m on about and scroll down to find the full tracklisting and album details. Sound the alarm, indeed. Take notice, anybody thinking you were going to publish the definitive Book of Soul. We’re gonna need a rewrite.

  April 16, 2013  

June 25th will mark the release of Booker's 10th album, “Sound the Alarm,” on Stax/Concord. Speakeasy premieres the first tune from the album, “Fun.” Check it out here!


Booker T. Jones Named for Instrumentalist Honors
  June 25, 2012  

(Nashville, Tenn.) June 21, 2012– The Americana Music Association announces the selection of Booker T. Jones as Lifetime Achievement Award winner to be presented at its 11th Annual Honors and Awards ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Jones is to receive the award for instrumentalist. Booker joins Richard Thompson and Bonnie Raitt, who was previously announced to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance. All three artists will be present to receive the trophies and will perform during the show.

Known just as Booker T., the multi-instrumentalist was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and honored with a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. His early band, “Booker T. and the MG’s” were not only essential in shaping the sound of southern soul and Memphis soul as a band, but all of the individual members (Steve Cropper, Lewie Steinberg and Al Jackson, Jr.) were part of the Stax Records house band – playing on hundreds of recordings in the 60s including those of Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and Bill Withers to name just a few. As originators of the unique Stax sound, the group was one of the most prolific, respected, and imitated of their era and one of the first racially integrated rock groups.

Outside of the band, Jones made the charts as a solo artist and produced albums for Rita Coolidge, Bill Withers, Willie Nelson's Stardust and more. He also lent his trademark keyboards to many artists ranging in genre from Ray Charles to Neil Young. He still plays with Booker T. & the MGs and his own Booker T. Jones Band, and received an instrumental Grammy for his 2011 album The Road To Memphis.

"Booker and Richard's artistry and influence are part of the rich tapestry of Americana," noted Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association. "We are thrilled they are coming to AmericanaFest; their contributions exemplify the broad reach of our community, from the common ground of folk rock to R&B born in Memphis."

Booker T. Jones, Speaker - An Auspicious Occasion
Indiana University Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies - Bloomington, Indiana - May 5, 2012
  May 5, 2012  
In 1966, forty-six years ago today, exactly, I sat where you now sit, because my father loved words.

My father loved words. They didn't have to be big words, but that seemed to help. His words had to have character, and not be too common. I remember how he would explore different events and situations in life, intoxicated with the idea of getting the chance to use the phrase, "this auspicious occasion" in a sentence. He always did this with a big grin on his face.

And, like my father, I suffer bouts of prolixity. My dad drove us up here from Memphis in our 1955 Buick in the summer of 1962 and checked us into the Van Owen Hotel with an Esso gas credit card. It was the first time any of us had ever checked into a hotel. We slept and ate next to wealthy white folks for the first time in our lives here at Indiana.

The next day I went to audition for the jury that would decide if I could enter the school. - I have no idea how I passed that jury. My music reading skills were somewhat short of basic. For years, I had fooled people with my ability to play and re-create what I had heard only once. But now I had to look at the page and read it from sight. My entire previous experience was writing out a few lead sheets for Stax Records to get copyrights. I had taken a few after school classes of music theory from the choral director at my high school, and I had been the only student in the class.

But, my jurors wanted to take a chance on me, seeing potential in me. I am grateful to them for that.

My grandfather built a school in Mississippi, with his own two hands, on a muddy field, on his own property. His twelve children attended that school, along with others that lived close by. He taught himself to read and write. The former sharecropper became the only black landowner in the county, and the only teacher. My parents instilled in me a great respect for education.

I've spent a lifetime making music, and had a great time doing it. I've earned Grammy Awards and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I've made a good living and sometimes people come up to me and say thank you for the music.

All of this is possible because of the education I received here at Indiana University.

In the spring of 1968, I was in my bed at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in East Hollywood. - I had undergone surgery to replace bone in my knee, which was deteriorated from six years of rubbing against the wooden bar underneath the Hammond B-3 organ. The doctors used pulverized bone from my own right hip.

Director Jules Dassin visited to give me the good news that I had been hired to write the score for the motion picture "Uptight", which he was directing. The company was shooting in Cleveland, and would soon be moving to Paris.

A man of only 23, I was overjoyed to find out I would be composing my first Hollywood score! But then I would have to travel in a wheelchair and use crutches since my right leg was cast from my foot to my waist. - The film paid me a salary and provided me with an upstairs studio in Quai Carnot, which is a quaint village overlooking the River Seine in Saint Cloud, a suburb of Paris.

I learned to argue in French because my driver borrowed money everyday the first three weeks I was on the job, and he wouldn't pay me back. - I was unable to walk, and 6,000 miles from home. - My apprehension was heightened when the Sorbonne students took the streets and staged a fiery revolt that shut the school down. That was near the Champs Elysees and not far from my hotel.

But, I had walked on this campus from Teter Quadrangle to the music building at 7:15 every morning for four years straight to get to music theory class! - I wasn't about to let these conditions stop me! - Looking out over the glistening River Seine, I was inspired to write the theme, "Time Is Tight", with its long, encouraging melody, for the closing scene of the film. And in so doing, I fell in love with France and its culture.

From then on, each time I raised a baton to lead an orchestra in Paris, London, or Hollywood, there was no situation I wasn't ready for, whether standing or in a wheelchair. Thanks to the training and perseverance I acquired here at Indiana, I went on to complete the score in Paris, and to conduct many other ensembles in years to come.

We have nothing more sacred or valuable than the option to get information. Decorum should always be observed when dealing with learning institutions. Colleges and Universities deserve an honorable, dignified, and respectful place in society.

Higher learning is responsible for most of the advances in society, as well as in medicine, in social structure, and in the arts. - To gain control of the human mind is the only true power, and the only power a human can truly possess.

I'll say it again, and borrow my father's phrase, that to be certain, this gathering, this Commencement Ceremony, is indeed, An Auspicious Occasion! There is a very good chance that the next leader of the free world sits in this group. You are the ones who have risen to the top. Now, to stay at the top of any field is to understand the nature of what lies at the bottom.

My advice is, if you want to be comfortable at the top, get familiar with the bottom.

If you are a conductor, know where the third trombone has to turn the page. If you are a general, be able to break down the corporal's weapon with your eyes closed. If you are a philosopher, be able to empty your own mind. If you want to rise to the top, stay close to the bottom.

To become truly healthy, you must manage your sickness. To become truly wealthy, you must give to the poor. To become truly wise, you must learn to know nothing. These, I offer you, today.

I will tell you that you have great powers. Powers that you have acquired here in the halls of Indiana University. - I will urge you to use those powers to elevate those who are beneath you in society.

It is also your responsibility to preserve our highest privilege, the right to learn, and the institutions that cultivate it.

From Africa to Europe the great thinkers have taken their places at high levels of government alongside conquerors. The thinkers became the ministers, the teachers, and the lawyers. They became the doctors, and the philosophers, and the financiers. All of them turned to the artists and the poets to make their societies whole. The artists and the poets continued to plow the fields of the human mind to get medicines their cultures desperately needed to survive. - Without art, life is meaningless.

I have survived because I learned how to learn, and I did that here, at Indiana. People told me not to come, but I came anyway, and I'm glad I did, and you will be too.

Now, you can say, - "I went to Indiana University!!" And because of that, people will listen to you and consider you. They know how hard you worked. - They will think you know what you're doing and what you're talking about. You will be paid back for all your hard work!!

You have obtained the best education possible. You will be rewarded. When you tell someone you are an I.U. Grad they will stand back, step aside and make way for you, before they fall in line behind you. You will deserve it because you've done the work for the degree you are about to receive.

Your potential is enormous. Your resources are vast. Each one of you is unique, unlike any other that has ever walked this earth. Your energy is awesome and I know you will accomplish the unbelievable.

Uphold the Cream and Crimson, go out there and show them what you can do! Believe in yourself, because you finished the greatest school in the world, Indiana University!!
Booker T On Mountain Stage
  March 29, 2012  
Check out an Interview with Booker backstage at Mountain Stage

Booker T Wins Grammy For Best Pop Instrumental Album
  February 27 , 2012  


Booker T. Jones scored a Grammy Award in the category of “Best Pop Instrumental Album" for his enthralling and soulful 2011 album The Road From Memphis.

The Road From Memphis traces Jones’ journey from his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee to the world stage. Produced by Jones with The Roots' ?uestlove and Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliot Smith), the album’s title refers not only to Booker T's journey but to the evolution of the soul sound he helped invent as it traveled from Memphis to Detroit, Philadelphia and beyond. The record features a broad range of guest vocalists including Matt Berninger of the National, Sharon Jones, Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket and Lou Reed.

This is Jones’s fourth Grammy award. He previously won in 1994 with his band Booker T. & The MG's for their performance of "Cruisin.'" He was then awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and won in the Best Pop Instrumental category for his 2009 solo album Potato Hole also released on Anti-Records. Jones was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1992. . 

  February 10 , 2012  

Booker T landed a nomination for Sunday's 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards for his May 2011 release "The Road From Memphis." The album is nominated in the same category as his 2009 Anti- release 'Potato Hole' which won the Grammy for "Best Pop Instrumental Album."  The GRAMMYs will be held on Sunday, February 12th in Los Angeles and telecast on CBS at 8PM EST.

Booker will also be paying tribute to the founding members of The Memphis Horns, Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love. 

  January 2, 2012  

Watch Booker T. on PBS. See more from On Canvas.

  June 27, 2011  


  August 6, 2011  
Booker has contributed a track from his latest album 'The Road From Memphis' to a free NPR (National Public Radio) sampler. Fill in your email address and receive this track featuring Jim James (My Morning Jacket) for free along with 15 other tracks from the artists such as Wilco, Mavis Staples, Tom Waits, Neko Case, and others as a show of appreciation for your support of NPR radio. Check it out here!
  August 6, 2011  
Booker is featured in the New York Times in the August 6th issue. "... After going nearly three decades without making a solo record, Mr. Jones has suddenly delivered two in the last three years. “Potato Hole,” a guitar-driven outing with the Drive-By Truckers and his pal Neil Young, won him a Grammy last year, and now there is the groove-oriented “Road From Memphis,” whose title refers to the city where Mr. Jones, 66, was born and came of age as a musician. “I’m always having to compromise, but both those records are snapshots of what’s been going on inside me, the sounds that have been gestating,” Mr. Jones, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, said in a recent interview in Manhattan." Read more->
  June 26, 2011  

Larry Rohter speaks with Booker T. Jones, composer of “Green Onions” and other classic tracks, about his time at Stax Records and “The Road From Memphis,” his recent collaboration with members of the Roots. “I’m living my life in a very reckless fashion — there is no plan for anything having to do with my musical creativity,” says Booker. “I’m trying to faithfully follow the inner muse that I connect with, and that leads me in directions that surprise me.”

  June 23, 2011  

On July 23rd, Booker will be performing at the WXPN Exponential Music Festival at Wiggens Park at Camden Waterside in Camden, New Jersey alongside other amazing musicians such as Emmylou Harris, Clap Your Hands Say Yea, Citizen Cope, Joseph Arthur, Ben Folds, The Smithereens, and many others!

Tickets are on sale now! Click here for more info!

  June 17, 2011  
Booker T. and band stopped by the KCRW studios for an interview and to play a few songs from the new record 'The Road From Memphis' as long as some of Booker's older classics. You can watch or listen to the performance here! Tune in!
  May 30, 2011  
Check out an interview and video performance from Booker at National Public Radio Studios..


Booker T. Jones' historic life in music has brought him international fame, awards (he’s a three-time Grammy winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer), and iconic status as one of the architects of American soul music.  With his new album 'The Road From Memphis,' due May 10 on Anti- Records, Jones traces his journey from his hometown of Memphis, TN to the world stage.  The album follows Jones' 2009 Anti- release 'Potato Hole' which won the Grammy for “Best Pop Instrumental Album."
Produced by Jones with The Roots' ?uestlove and Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliot Smith), 'Memphis' was recorded by Daptone Records mastermind Gabriel Roth with backing by The Roots.  'The Road from Memphis' refers not only to Booker T's journey but to the evolution of the soul music he helped invent as it traveled from Memphis to Detroit, Philadelphia and beyond.  The music's many iterations are represented here with a broad range of guest vocalists including Matt Berninger of the National and Sharon Jones on "Representing Memphis," Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket on "Progress" and Lou Reed on "The Bronx."  The album also features a rare vocal from Jones himself offering a first-hand look at his hometown on "Down in Memphis." Legendary motor-city guitarist Dennis Coffey contributes to the album as well.

Full track listing for 'The Road from Memphis:'

Walking Papers
Progress (feat. Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket)
The Hive
Down In Memphis
Everything Is Everything
Rent Party
Representing Memphis (feat. Matt Berninger of The National and Sharon Jones)
The Vamp
Harlem House
The Bronx (feat. Lou Reed)

U.S. tour dates have been announced.

Booker T Wins Grammy for 'Potato Hole'
  February 1, 2010  
Booker T, the Grammys and Neil Young
  January 21, 2010  
Booker T on Twitter
  July 6, 2009  
Booker T. in USA Today and Potato Hole Announced
  January 16, 2009