Hear the Greyboy Allstars Cover the Beatles’ ‘Taxman': Premiere
About a year into the global pandemic, the Greyboy Allstars — co-founded by saxophonist Karl Denson — decided to hold a series of livestream concerts that were shown exclusively on nugs.net. For four weeks, the funk rockers traversed a lot of different ground, from performing their 1997 LP, A Town Called Earth, in its entirety to paying homage to Prestige Records and artists like Gary Bartz and Boogaloo Joe Jones.
"We realized that we had a lot of material that hadn't been released," Denson, who also plays saxophone in the Rolling Stones' touring band, tells UCR. "We started playing everything that had been in our repertoire over the years, and this is what came out of it."
During the final broadcast on nugs.net, they decided to highlight some of their favorite covers from that repertoire, and that show will be memorialized in the band's upcoming record, Get a Job: Music From the Original Broadcast Series Soul Dream.
Out on April 1, Get a Job features covers of songs like Gil Scott-Heron's "Lady Day and John Coltrane," Gary Bartz's "I've Known Rivers" and Ann Alford's "Got to Get Me a Job."
But the album's standout comes when the Greyboy Allstars come together for a take on the Beatles' "Taxman," from 1966's classic Revolver. You can hear the new track, an exclusive premiere, below.
"We've been doing 'Taxman' for a long time," Denson says. "We first started playing it back around the time we were shedding material for our keyboardist Robert Walter's debut solo record, Spirit of '70. We are a classic rock band in a way. Everybody has pretty deep roots in the rock vocabulary, and we all fancy ourselves songwriters, so covering the Beatles is kind of a no-brainer."
As Denson prepares for the release of Get a Job, he's grateful for his time with the Stones and how that has shaped him and his band.
"I think what the Stones do for [the Greyboy Allstars] and for me is just allow me to be immersed in a really great songbook," he explains. "We are all songwriters first, and quality control is the first necessity of a writer. Hopefully, my experience with the Stones will keep me from writing something wack."