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Wilko Johnson records new album with Roger Daltrey

Tim Ingham
Wilko Johnson

Influential Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson has teamed up with The Who frontman Roger Daltrey to create a new album, Going Back Home.

The LP will be released on March 10 on the world-famous Chess label, which Universal has resurrected especially.

Going Back Home features 11 tracks, ten of which are Wilko Johnson originals - both from his Dr Feelgood days and his solo years. The sole cover on the album is a version of Bob Dylan’s Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window, from his Highway 61 Revisited LP.

Johnson and Daltrey will be performing tracks from the album at a very special one off show at The O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on February 25th.

The album’s roots began in 2010 when Daltrey and Johnson found themselves sitting together at an awards ceremony.

“It turned out we both loved Johnny Kidd & The Pirates,” says Daltrey. “They’d been a big influence on both our bands. That heavy power trio sound, backing up a singer; it’s a British institution. No-one does that better than us.”

In January 2013 Johnson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told he had just months to live. The guitarist was riding high after Julien Temple’s acclaimed Dr Feelgood documentary Oil City Confidential, and seized upon the opportunity to make the most of his time left.

After The Who finished a sold-out world tour Daltrey was delighted to discover that, Johnson was still well enough to work on their joint project. “Roger jumped up and said, ‘Let’s do it,’” says Johnson. “He knew this lovely little studio called Yellow Fish in Uckfield. Unfortunate name for a place, but a great studio.”

The album was recorded last November in a week, using Johnson's touring band of Blockheads bassist Norman Watt-Roy and drummer Dylan Howe, with ex-Style Council and Dexy’s keyboardist Mick Talbot also guesting. Wilko credits the producer, Dave Eringa, with pulling it all together in such a short time. “Everyone got on famously,” says Johnson, “it was a great atmosphere.”

He added: “I’ve had a brilliant year. I was meant to die in October and now I’ve recorded this with Roger. I can’t keep gushing, but I saw The Who in 1969 when I was at university. He’s a star to me.”

Daltrey is donating his royalties from the album to a Teen Cancer charity.

Tickets for The O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on 25/02/14 are available from 9am on Friday 24th January from www.aeglive.co.uk/

Tracklist for ‘Going Back Home’

All Through The City (Wilko Johnson)

Sneaking Suspicion (Wilko Johnson)

Going Back Home (Wilko Johnson)

Everybody’s Carrying A Gun (Wilko Johnson)

Keep It Out Of Sight (Wilko Johnson)

Keep On Loving You (Wilko Johnson, Norman Watt-Roy, Salvatore Ramundo)

Some Kind Of Hero (Wilko Johnson)

Turned 21 (Wilko Johnson)

I Keep It To Myself (Wilko Johnson)

Ice On The Motorway (Wilko Johnson)

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window (Bob Dylan)

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Tags: The Who, Dr Feelgood

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