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The Crusaders Reunite! 2003 Is A Year Of "Rural Renewal"

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After 20 years, chart-topping innovators join together for Verve Records debut

On Tuesday, March 4, 2003, Verve Records will release Rural Renewal, a brand-new recording from The Crusaders. Now reunited after a 20-year absence, The Crusaders have crafted an album that is a testament to their enduring influence, creativity, and talent.

Rural Renewal features the heart of the original Crusaders lineup-Joe Sample on keys, Wilton Felder on saxophone, and Stix Hooper on drums-along with trombonist Steve Baxter, who now stands in Wayne Henderson's former spot. Also on board for the 11 tracks of this new journey is Stewart Levine, the producer credited for The Crusaders' major successes in the 1960s and 1970s.

It would be an understatement to call the album's guests “special." The one-and-only Eric Clapton plays guitar here on two songs-the opening title track and the Sample-written “Creepin'." Some of the biggest names in gospel-the great Donnie McClurkin and the powerful Sounds of Blackness-bring the spirit to the Rural Renewal. McClurkin's inimitable vocals are heard on “Sing the Song," while he and Sounds of Blackness transform “A Healing Coming On" into a full-scale jazz/funk/gospel extravaganza. Both songs were written by Sample and famed lyricist Will Jennings.

Rural Renewal is rounded out by additional compositions from Sample ("The Territory," “Viva De Funk"), Wilton Felder (the closing “Goin' Home" and “Heartland"), and Stix Hooper ("Greasy Spoon"). In addition to The Crusaders, Rural Renewal also includes the musical contributions of guitarists Ray Parker, Jr., Arthur Adams, and Dean Parks, bassist Freddie Washington, and percussionist Lenny Castro.

The Crusaders will play select major market dates in the Spring and Summer of 2003.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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