STOURBRIDGE singer songwriter star Ian Parker is set to return to his blues roots with the release of a new album which will feature a tribute to late Cream bassman Jack Bruce.
Parker, whose last blues album was released back in 2008, will be launching his latest work Politik Blues - which features a song dedicated to Bruce who died in October - on Monday April 13.
The cover of Cream's Politician and a re-working of Woodstock Festival star Richie Haven's Freedom, which also features on Politik Blues, marks the first time Ian has recorded covers in the studio.
Ian said: "Blues has always been the bedrock of what I do and I am excited to return to my roots with Politik Blues. In many ways the three-piece sound, which dominates the album, rekindles some of the raw spirit of Cream and I'd like to think the cover of Politician is a fitting tribute to the great Jack Bruce who had a huge impact on my early artistic development.
"My big influences as a young artist were Cream and Hendrix, together with the song writing genius of The Beatles and Bob Dylan. After exploring the latter in more recent years I now want to let the music do the talking with this return to the electric blues that helped establish me on the circuit over a decade ago. At the same time, the album has a musical freshness and is lyrically far more outward looking than all of my previous work."
Featuring eight original tracks also, the recording which is being launched on Parker's own EyePea record label sees the 38-year-old singer and guitarist joined by long-term friends and experienced performers - Chris Finn (drums) and Dave Jenkins (bass) with whom he formed his first gigging band Strange Brew in the early 1990s.
Ian, who has supported Eric Clapton, has played with Finn and Jenkins on and off for more than 20 years but this is the first time they have recorded together.
He said: "The album results from a series of chance reunions between three friends and musicians who know each other well. Over the last year, we have had great fun jamming together and things then snowballed into forming the band which naturally evolved into the creation of Politik Blues."
The album, which was recorded in Oxford and which promises to take fans back to Ian's early days as a blues frontman in Parker's Alibi, also features his regular sidekick Morg Morgan on keys on the three of the tracks.
Ahead of the official launch, Ian will be taking to the stage at his spiritual home - the Robin 2 at Bilston - on Thursday April 9.
He said: "The Robin has always been a special venue in my career and I was honoured to be asked to play the last-ever gig at the original Robin before it closed.
"Since the mid-90s I've gigged at the Robin every year but I didn't play there during 2014.
"That makes it my longest spell without a performance there so I really can't wait to get out on the Robin 2 stage in April."
Tickets for the Robin 2 gig are available online from www.therobin.co.uk