Herb Alpert Shares New Single
“East Bound And Down”
New Album Wish Upon A Star
out on September 15
On Tour This September/October including
Grand Ole Opry Debut on August 18
August 4, 2023: Legendary musician, artist, record label executive and philanthropist Herb Alpert recently announced his new album Wish Upon A Star (out September 15). Today, he shares the album’s first single “East Bound And Down.” Written by Jerry Reed and known as the theme song for the classic action-comedy movie Smokey and the Bandit, “East Bound and Down” finds Alpert revisiting the buoyant, upbeat sound of the Tijuana Brass Band with its gliding, lane-changing energy.
“I couldn’t get this song out of my mind after seeing Smokey and the Bandit many moons ago……thought it would make a great instrumental,” states Alpert. “I am very excited to perform it when I return to Nashville and make my debut at The Opry!”
Throughout Wish Upon A Star, Herb’s 49th studio album, he shows what it means to stretch and personalize an enduring melody. He explores songs written in different eras of pop music history, from venerable Great American Songbook standards (“On the Street Where You Live,” rendered as a bossa nova) to torch songs (a sultry “Angel Eyes”) to Beatles classics (“And I Love Her”) to effortlessly levitating jazz waltzes (“Waltz For Stan,” written by Alpert’s longtime collaborator Eddie del Barrio).
From a certain angle, Alpert’s storied career is an example of an inspiration circuit, showing the many ways great songs unlock the sometimes-elusive state of inspiration for artists – and then, in turn, open the hearts of listeners. A&M started in 1962 as a home for Alpert’s Tijuana Brass projects, but within a few years grew into an unusually creative independent imprint, releasing landmark records by Wes Montgomery, Antonio Carlos Jobim, The Police, Joan Armatrading and many others. Wish glances at this legacy, with covers of the Carpenters hit “We’ve Only Just Begun” and Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son.”
“I signed the Carpenters to A&M,” Alpert says, recalling that some at the label expressed doubts about the wholesome duo. “I found them, and I remember the first time I heard them I loved them. They knew how to put songs across.”
Working on “Father and Son” brought Alpert into a nostalgic reverie. “I saw him [Cat Stevens] when he was starting out. Just him and guitar – total knockout. The songs all had a calm depth to them, and the way he expressed himself was overwhelming. Of all the artists we had on A&M, Cat was unusually special.”
In the next breath, Alpert quickly adds that he isn’t typically nostalgic, and doesn’t spend much time dwelling on the past. “It sounds cliché but I’m just completely excited when I get up in the morning to create something, and grateful for the chance to do it.”
Alpert has been extraordinarily prolific since disbanding the Tijuana Brass in 1969, creating a body of work that links the energy of global dance rhythms to the spirit of jazz improvisation. With Wish Upon a Star, he says, he’s hit on a production approach that balances those forces.
Herb Alpert continues to tour with his wife Lani Hall, and recently completed a sold out week of dates at London’s legendary Ronnie Scott’s. With those performances, alongside the release of Wish Upon A Star, Herb’s wishes have continued to come true; he is still making and performing great music, well into his 80s. Alpert recently celebrated his 88th birthday.
Alpert was reminded of another personal milestone last month, when Taylor Swift made headlines for having four albums in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 charts at the same time, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by a living artist since 1966 when Herb Alpert had four albums in the top 10 (Going Places, Whipped Cream & Other Delights, South of the Border, and The Lonely Bull). Herb graciously congratulated Swift on her achievement in a recent TikTok, which was covered by Billboard and Entertainment Weekly.
Find a full list of tour dates below, which includes Herb’s Grand Ole Opry debut in Nashville on August 18, or visit his website.
Photo credit: Dewey Nicks
Wish Upon A Star tracklist:
1. East Bound And Down
2. Angel Eyes
3. We’ve Only Just Begun
4. On The Street Where You Live
5. Father And Son
6. (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame
7. Sacudelo (Shake It)
10. Waltz For Stan
11. Slow Down
12. It’s All In The Game
13. And I Love Her
14. When You Wish Upon A Star
Herb Alpert & Lani Hall tour dates:
August 18 – Nashville, TN @ Grand Ole Opry
September 16 – Chicago, IL @ The Vic Theatre
September 17 – Cleveland, OH @ Playhouse Square
September 19 – Minneapolis, MN @Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
September 20 – Iowa City, IA @ The Englert Theatre
September 21 – Kansas City, MO @ Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
October 14 – Denver, CO @ The Newman Center For The Performing Arts
October 15 – Grand Junction, CO @ Avalon Theatre
October 17 – Boise, ID @ The Egyptian Theatre
October 18 – Portland, OR @Revolution Hall
October 20 – Tacoma, WA @ Venue TBD
October 21 – Seattle, WA @ Venue TBD
About Herb Alpert & The Herb Alpert Foundation:
Alpert’s extraordinary musicianship has earned him 9 GRAMMY® Awards (the latest from his 2014 album Steppin’ Out), 15 Gold albums, 14 Platinum albums and has sold over 72 million records. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass propelled his sound into the pop music limelight, at one point outselling the Beatles two to one. Alpert has a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Barack Obama in 2013. Alpert also has a second career as an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor with group and solo exhibitions around the United States and Europe.
As an industry leader, Alpert’s commitment to artists with personal vision guided A&M Records (with partner Jerry Moss) from a Hollywood garage operation into one of the most successful independent record labels in music history, with stars including Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Cat Stevens, The Carpenters, Carole King, Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, The Police and scores of others.
Through the Herb Alpert Foundation, Herb and Lani have dedicated their lives to philanthropy, funding programs that help bring creativity to young students and keep creativity alive for all the arts, for artists young and old, including jazz education and programs that teach compassion and well-being. May 2022 marked the 28th anniversary of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts celebrating 140 awardees over the past 28 years. 2021 also brought the opening of the newly remodeled Harlem School of the Arts at the Herb Alpert Center, funded entirely by Herb and Lani Alpert. During the pandemic, the Foundation dramatically increased its emergency funding to artists in need through organizations such as Chrysalis, the Jazz Foundation, the Good People’s Fund and Artists Relief.
Missing Piece Group