John Dillard embarks upon his journey, setting his pace on his first album as a solo artist, Let’s Ride. Many may recognize his appearance on countless stages around the country, holding down the bottom on bass with artists such as Brian Simpson, Stephanie Mills, and Matt Marshak. Let’s Ride is a project of passion, long suffering, and perseverance. John has been preparing for this his whole life unbeknown to him. All the songs were written and produced by John Dillard for J’MarDi Productions.
Let’s Ride opens with a horn-packed intro, featuring Lin Rountree on trumpet and Buff Dillard on trombone. Blending with the up-tempo groove is spoken word by Quentin Talley–setting the tone for what listeners can expect from John’s debut album and followed by the title track “Let’s Ride.” Its smooth, funk-groovy feeling will have you relaxed or wanting to ride with the top down with the wind lowing through your hair. Marcus Anderson adds his signature saxophone sound, and the background vocals by Mario Brown provide the finishing touch. “Gotta Make This Right,” laced with sax sounds by Art Sherrod. The first single, “Cruise Control,” featuring Marcus Anderson, is a funky bass groove accented with just a sprinkle of saxophone. The combination of the two perfectly demonstrates the musical chemistry they share.
The sexy, sensual “26 East” showcases Dillard’s playing skills. Joining him on guitar are Marc Antoine and Reggie Graves. Their pairing in melodic sync with John results in sultriness. Chad Lawson unleashes his piano chops and leads the mellow groove “I Need You” in conversation with John. “Window Seat” is grooviness that will have you snapping your fingers and dancing around the room or in your car and features Gabriel Bello on sax. The slow, electric, infectious, mood-altering aura of “Turbulent” has a vibe that will transport listeners into another state of mind. Lovell Bradford is featured on the Fender Rhodes and Matt Marshak on the guitar, who John also happens to accompany often on his shows. John really allows his playing skills to shine on the last song, “Forward.” He’s in unison with Oli Silk on keys and adds the perfect final touch to John’s much anticipated album.
Other artists contributing to Let’s Ride include guitarist Joe Lindsay, drummers Richard Jenkins, Calvin Napper and Quantavius Dillard. Keyboardist Paul Whitley makes an appearance on a couple tracks as well. Listen to this album at CDBaby.