Phillip-Michael Scales
Photo: Bryan Higlesias / Courtesy of Sideways Media

Phillip-Michael Scales and Archie Lee Hooker’s Blues Scorcher “When They Put Me in My Grave” (premiere)

Phillip-Michael Scales’ latest tune “When They Put Me in My Grave” features electrifying licks that call back to B.B. King’s iconic style.

Phillip-Michael Scales’ forthcoming album, Sinner-Songwriter, is a culmination of his life’s circumstances. Coming up as legendary bluesman B.B. King’s nephew, the two became closer as Scales began to grasp his own private blues. His upcoming LP is a nod to his uncle’s—and his overarching family—history, interwoven with what personal stories have paved his road so far. Scales states, “These days, I’m finding more of my story in the blues. A lot has led me here—between politics, my identity, and of course: legacy.”

Scales’ latest tune, “When They Put Me in My Grave”, features electrifying licks that can’t help but call back to King’s iconic style. Its opening moments tease something bigger, starting with an acoustic rhythm, subtle tinges of electric lead, and Scales’ passionate vocals. Shy of 40 seconds in, the track explodes into full-throttle blues. Scales soulfully dishes out lyrics that speak to his family legacy—and the one that he wants to forge for himself.

Scales is joined by another artist whose family history speaks to the blues if this weren’t enough. John Lee Hooker’s nephew, Archie Lee Hooker, jumps in on the song’s back half. Sauntering into its fiery groove with confidence and grit that speaks to the years that Hooker’s been breathing the blues.

Scales tells PopMatters, “I think a lot about legacy, being black and how that all ties in for me. My mother was the first black female to have her own practice in the state of Michigan, and my grandmother went to college in the 1940s despite not being able to stay or eat on campus. So, the question of how I want to live my life so that my future kids will be better off later is something I think of a lot. The label heard the song and suggested that their artist Archie Lee Hooker jump on the track. I thought it was cool to hear the voice of someone who’d lived much more life than me on the track.”

Sinner-Songwriter releases on 29 October via Dixie Frog. It’s available to pre-order now.

Phillip-Michael-Scales-Sinner-Songwriter

TOUR DATES

9/15-16 – Arlington Heights, IL ^

9/17 – Kenosha, WI ^

9/18 – Port Clinton, OH ^

9/19 – Cleveland, OH ^

9/20 – Pittsburgh, PA ^

9/22 – Sellersville, PA ^

9/23-25 – Nashville, TN

9/26 – Norfolk, CT ^

9/28 – New York, NY ^

9/29 – Pawling, NY ^

9/30 – Washington, DC ^

10/1 – Richmond, VA ^

10/2 – Asheville, NC ^

10/7 – Pullman, WA

10/14 – Los Angeles, CA

11/7-12 – The Rock Boat*

* – Full Band

^ – Supporting Crystal Bowersox

PopMatters