Recalling that intense, emotional relationship allowed Teena to tap into the deeply personal ballad, “Marry Me,” Congo Square’s centerpiece. With its soulful, straightforward, southern eloquence and emotive strings that the late great Isaac Hayes would have adored, “Marry Me” is also the composition that is most like a classic slice of Stax. “That’s my ode to Aretha,” Teena says, “…all the bluesy stuff she did in her young-young years like ‘Ain’t No Way.’ I have fond memories of ridin’ around Buffalo with Rick listening to all her early music and singing to it on days off from the road. Without being preachy, I’ve observed several couples that have been together for years – with their kids all around them – but they still haven’t walked down the aisle. It’s probably the most bluesy soul song I’ve ever done. I had to have an anointed genius on this music so I flew Paul Riser in from Detroit to arrange and conduct the strings. During the session, I saw grown men and women cry…I’m talking heavyweight philharmonic players who’ve heard everything. The harpist had just done Streisand the night before.”Read More…

I Need Your Lovin’

Behind the Groove

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