« Celebrity Autographed Bowls to Support Feeding America | Main | The Rutgers Stadium Guitar Hero »

December 04, 2008

A-list blues, rock musicians take to the 'Streets'

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - The album "Dark Streets -- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack," boasts a lineup of top soul, blues and rock names -- including B.B. King, Etta James, Richie Sambora and Chaka Khan -- that many would associate with a big-budget film. But this particular soundtrack is the musical companion to an indie .

Released digitally Nov. 25, the Atlantic Records set follows the label's No. 1 "Twilight" soundtrack.

The movie, a neo-noir musical, opens Dec. 12 in select cities via Samuel Goldwyn Films.

"This isn't your typical movie with 3,000 screens," soundtrack executive producer George Acogny said. "It's not easy to get major artists involved when you have a small budget and no major actors. But if you don't ask, you don't get."

"Dark Streets," which Acogny describes as an ode to the blues, was developed from a theater piece written by Glenn Stewart, a banker who studied music and filmmaking. It centers on suave bachelor Chaz Davenport (actor Gabriel Mann), who operates a new nightclub whose promising success is hindered by frequent city blackouts and a menacing loan shark. A love triangle and murder enter the mix. Mann's co-stars include Bijou Phillips , Izabella Miko , Elias Koteas, Michael Fairman and Toledo. "Dark Streets" is directed by Rachel Samuels ("The Suicide Club").

Relationships Acogny has forged as a songwriter, producer and music supervisor (working on projects like the film "Blood Diamond" and with such high-profile artists as Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon) played a key role in fulfilling his and Stewart's artist wish list. Instrumental in that process was longtime Acogny friend and William Morris agent Joel Roman, whose clients include King. The blues legend is not featured on the soundtrack, but he plays guitar in the film and on its score.

" Once you have B.B., who's not going to come onboard?" Acogny asks.

In addition to King, James, Khan and Sambora, the 10-song soundtrack features Natalie Cole, Aaron Neville, Dr. John , Solomon Burke, film co-star Toledo and two Atlantic newcomers, Serena Ryder and Marc Broussard. All of the artists perform original songs written by James Compton, Tim Brown and Tony DeMeur.

To accommodate artists' conflicting schedules, Acogny traveled across the country -- he recorded King in Las Vegas, James in New York and Dr. John and Neville in New Orleans. (Half of the "Dark Streets" profits will be donated to the Blues Initiative, a nonprofit organization that directly aids musicians and the arts in New Orleans.)

Declining to reveal the soundtrack's budget or how much the artists were paid, Acogny said, "Let's just say the artists were extremely generous with their souls."

Posted by riesambo at December 4, 2008 08:01 PM