Available Tomorrow, March 25
Soul singer supreme Will Downing is flexing his freedom as never before with an outstanding offering that showcases the broadest breadth of styles yet, fittingly titled Euphoria ( Tomorrow, March 25). The artist has been sending connoisseurs of soul into a state of euphoria for a quarter of a century with timeless albums such as A Dream Fulfilled, Moods, After Tonight, Love’s the Place to Be (his career-best seller), All The Man You Need (nominated for a Best Traditional R&B Vocal Grammy in 2000), the song cycle concept CD Lust Love & Lies: An Audio Novel, and his recent trilogy of EPs: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Downing created most of these projects for some of the greatest record companies in history, including Motown, Verve, Mercury and Island. Now recording on his own Soul Sophisticated Records label, Downing delivers Euphoria.
Will Downing’s 8-song Euphoria is a delectably eclectic affair that finds the singer moving from the psychedelic soul swing of Stevie Wonder’s conscience classic “Too High” (a lament for a drug-addled girl) to the timeless ballad of longing “If I Were a Magician” (popularized by the late, great Lou Rawls). Downing takes the bark out of Teddy Pendergrass’ bedtime command on the lead single “Turn Off The Lights” (smoothly waxing as effectively crooning over a jazz quartet featuring longtime musical partner Gerald Albright on alto sax) and adds layers of his own background vocal accompaniment to the torch standard “Lush Life” (featuring Najee on tenor sax). Daryl Hall & John Oates’ soft rock gemstone “She’s Gone” receives the identical loving Downing treatment that Paul Davis’ “I Go Crazy” received two decades before while his take on alt-rocker Ray Lamantagne’s “You Can Bring Me Flowers” finds Will in a decidedly “all blues” frame of mind.
Brooklyn-native Will Downing has cultivated a faithful audience worldwide with his sonorous baritone voice, gallant charm, easygoing sense of humor and sincerely engaging stage presence. He is also often called upon as a featured special guest on recordings and in concert with peers such as Bob Baldwin, Gary Taylor, Jonathan Butler, Maysa, Chante’ Moore, Brian Culbertson and Marion Meadows. His 1992 duet “Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This” with Rachelle Ferrell is among the most dynamic, sophisticated jazzy soul pairings of all time. This year he placed lucky #21 out of 100 on respected international music website Soul Tracks’ “Greatest Male Soul Singers of All-Time” poll.
Beyond the music, Downing is a published photographer with one coffee table book, “Unveiled Series I” (2005) and a follow-up soon to come. He is a passionate and purposed spokesperson for the American Stroke Association, often hosting a charity bowling event of his creation, “Strike Against Stroke,” to raise funds towards awareness and education in the disproportionately affected African American community. The American Heart Association officially recognizes Downing as a Celebrity Ambassador. Closer to home, Downing battled and beat the chronic muscle inflammation disease polymiositis over the course of several years beginning in December 2006 – a hard-won triumph that has given him a new lease and outlook on life.
A master of sensuality on record, Will Downing is - ultimately - a family man, married to singer Audrey Wheeler-Downing and the father of three children including his daughter Aja – both of whom vocally grace Euphoria.
The first single "Turn Of The Lights” is already doing well at radio and the album "Euphoria" will be available for purchase at ITunes.com, Amazon.com, other retail and on-line stores on March 25th.