Isley Brothers Writing New Tunes On Tour
The Isley Brothers are getting ready to make some more music -- baby-making and otherwise. Ronald Isley tells Billboard.com that even as he and younger brother Ernie are touring to promote last year'sThe Isley Brothers are getting ready to make some more music -- baby-making and otherwise. Ronald Isley tells Billboard.com that even as he and younger brother Ernie are touring to promote last year's Soul Train Award-winning "Baby Making Music," the veteran R&B duo has begun to work on material for its successor.
"We just started," says Isley, 65, who was delayed from promoting "Baby Making Music" by kidney surgery in the spring of 2006. "We're just doing it on the road, in the times that we have off."
Isley says the brothers have each been writing new songs and plan to keep the new album a bit more self-contained than their recent efforts, which have included collaborations with R. Kelly, Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox.
"We're gonna try to produce the majority of this album or at least half of the album ourselves," he explains. "All the albums that we had that were really, really successful, we try to write the majority of the songs ourselves. We take a lot of pride in that. When someone else is writing music for you, you say 'I like it' or 'I don't like it.' But in doing your own, you have to really concentrate. You want to make sure everything is exactly right."
Isley, whose wife Kandy gave birth to his first son, Ronald Jr., in December, says he expects to write some topical lyrics for the new album -- "You try to watch the news and see what's happening," he notes -- in addition to the usual pillow talk tunes. The duo, whose tour hits Red Bank, N.J., tonight (April 12), hopes to hit the studio soon and have the album finished "in the next couple of months," perhaps in time for a fall release.
The Isleys have been taping and filming shows on the tour for a possible live album and DVD, although no plans have been determined yet.
The senior Isley also has the specter of a tax evasion conviction hanging over him, and a 37-month prison sentence that he's currently appealing. But he remains optimistic, noting, "I have strong faith in God, and I know everything will be all right. And when I say everything, I mean everything."
Here are the Isley Brothers' tour dates:
April 12: Red Bank, N.J. (Coun Basie Theatre)
April 13: New York (United Palace Theatre)
April 14: Baltimore (Lyric)
April 15: Newark, N.J. (Performing Arts Center)
April 20: Cleveland (House of Blues)
April 21: Cincinnati (Music Hall)
April 26: Youngstown, Ohio (Chevrolet Center)
April 27: Atlantic City, N.J. (Bograta)
April 28: Philadelphia (Tower Theatre)