Album launch bringing the spirit of Bernie Worrell to Hawick

Borders musician Jesse Rae is bringing the sounds of American musician and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bernie Worrell to Hawick this week.

Jesse Rae with Bernie Worrell and Michael Hampton.
Jesse Rae with Bernie Worrell and Michael Hampton.

Jesse’s latest album entitled ‘Worea’ is being launched with a live playing at the Heart of Hawick next Friday, July 13.

Featuring funk musicians from across the globe it includes the sounds of Hiram Bullock, Michael Hampton, Steve Ferrone, Steve Jordan, Jimmy Ripp, Roger Troutman, TM Stevens and Anthony Jackson, as well as Bernie and Jesse.

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Jesse, who is also funk ambassador for the region and Scotland, said: “This album is very important, since the Scots Funk that we created in the Borders and recorded in New York studios has never been released or heard since 1981.

Jesse Rae.

“It features the greatest funk musicians on the planet, but emphasises their love for Scotland, and particularly here in the Borders, by performing at Scots View, The Wallace Statue, and other locations.”

And it’s Bernie’s love of the Borders that inspired the Borders-based album launch, which honours the former keyboard player for Parliament Funkadelic and Talking Heads who died in June 2016, aged 72.

Bernie worked alongside Jesse and inspired him to write ‘Over the Sea’, released in 1985.

“Bernie loved Hawick, and the people of Hawick when we were doing all the song writing and filming so I decided to honour him by bringing his spirit to the ‘Heart of Hawick’ with an evening of live music video performance,” Jesse added.

“He was a giant in Afro American music and is still not officially recognised for his massive influence over in his native USA, so I am so glad that Scotland has done this first.

“Because Bernie loved kids and young people, especially all the youngsters he came across in the Borders, I am also going to do a free show for them.
“I’m bringing Bernie Worrell ‘Hame tae the Borders’ that he loved.”

The album, short listed for the upcoming Scottish Music Industry’s SAY Awards, will be played at Heart of Hawick next Friday as part of an evening-long celebration of all things funk.

From 5.30- 6.30pm youngsters are invited to a free ‘live’ playing of the Thistle album, and from 7pm to 10pm there’s ‘live’ song writing with the new Space Cadets and with producer Jimmy Douglass best known for his work with the likes of Justin Timberlake and Jay Z.