Rock Bottom, the new album by Los Angeles guitar legend Michael Landau—best known for his session work with Pink Floyd, Roger Daltrey, James Taylor, Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell and so many more, is set for a February 23 release via Mascot Label Group. To put it simply, the album sounds like it walked out of Morrison Hotel in 1970, got lost in Laurel Canyon and finally found its way out onto Ventura Boulevard in 2018.
"I've been playing mostly instrumental music for the past 10 years, and out of nowhere I woke up one morning with the strong urge to play some hard-edged music with vocals," Landau says. "Guess it makes sense because it's really the music I grew up on. So I reunited with my ole pal David Frazee from the Burning Water days. We wrote a lot of songs together, most of which ended up on Rock Bottom."
Besides Frazee (vocals and guitar), the album features Michael's brother, Teddy Landau (Raging Honkies), on bass, Larry Goldings on keyboards and Alan Hertz on drums. From the Sgt. Pepper-esque warmup intro to the mind-warping "Squirrels" to the late-night jazz room sounds that haunt "Freedom," Landau and Frazee weave tales that'll have you wondering how you can be in two places at one time—while still relaxing and enjoying the ride. You can check out the first track, "We're Alright," below.
"We recorded the basic tracks on analog tape then finished it in the digital world," Landau says. "I mixed the record on an API console and kept it as big, open and natural sounding as I could. We mastered the record to be played at a healthy volume on a real stereo system or with a good set of headphones. I recommend listening to it with a hot cup of green tea or perhaps eight Guinness beers—or any other drug of your preference...or maybe just let the music be the drug?"
At 19, Landau joined Boz Scaggs for a world tour before settling down for sessions with Pink Floyd, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, B.B. King, James Taylor, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart and countless others.
"Michael is an undiscovered gem, one of God's guitar players," Steve Lukather says. "I grew up playing with him, and he's really inspired me. He's absolutely one of my favorite guitar players in the world."
For more about Landau, the new album and his tour dates, visit mikelandau.com.
Rock Bottom Track List
2. Bad Friend
3. Getting Old
4. We All Feel the Same
5. We're Alright (Hear it above!)
6. One Tear Away
7. Poor Dear
9. Heaven in the Alley
10. Speak Now, Make Your Peace