If you don’t know who R&B artist Steve Ray Ladson is, you’ve probably heard him and didn’t know it. Ladson shared his new single “Do You Know” today Watch video above. A multi-instrumentalist and touring member of the five-time Grammy award winning Blind Boys Of Alabama, as well as bassist of Robert Randolph And The Family Band, Ladson’s musical talents need little introduction. Celebrating authentic love and connection, “Do You Know” builds an irresistible, feel-good tune. It comes ahead of a full album, scheduled for release later this spring.
“The song has a unique feel, relating between R&B, folk, country and some pop,” said Ladson. “It simply asks a question. Do you know how it feels when you’ve found something real and you love someone. A lot of people don’t realize what it’s like to have real love or someone who genuinely cares about them. Despite what occurs in their relationship. It’s universal; not only for lovers, but friends as well. ” The song’s concept first came together, while Ladson was on tour in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. “I was spending an evening with a few friends that I write with often. This particular day I picked up the acoustic guitar and just began to sing “do you know?” over and over and over until I made a voice memo for it. Later I came up with the rest of the lyrics and the bridge but it was inspired in the south in an area where major hit records have spawned. I produced it in such a manner where it comes across as commercial and acceptable for all ages, genres, and ethnicities of people. It was a natural single because it just moves you the moment the music begins. It’s a happy song with a happy feeling and the world needs happy feelings and often reminders about what we do and do not know about our family, friends, and people around you. So I ask the question to the world today, “Do You Know?”
Ladson went on to record the track in California at a friend’s home studio with engineer Gregg Sartiano. He finished the track by mixing and mastering with engineer Cory Plaugh, in his hometown in South Carolina. “We’ve worked together for many years so he knows my sound and knows exactly what I am looking for which allowed the process to be smooth and quick,” said Ladson. SoulTracks premiered the single earlier this week, commenting how he “dives into an old school R&B/pop tale of that warm feeling inside in discovering a forever love.” Musically, the tune builds “a warm setting that never overpowers this sweet, soul soundtrack,” with Ladson’s falsetto and accompanying female background vocals all building the hook.
The accompanying music video was shot in Florence, Alabama at the Shoals Theatre by Russ Randolph. Inspired by old variety TV shows of the 50’s and 60’s, the black and white shoot creates a nostalgic and warm vibe. “I played all the instruments in the shoot and had my background singers (Bleu) come in and sing their parts to the track,” shared Ladson. “With the song having a flashback feel with a new school twist, I decided to shoot it as though it was in the days of Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Etta James, Wilson Pickett etc. I gave Russ the vision and he came up with the storyboard and we nailed it.”
“Do You Know” is out everywhere today including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon. The single precedes a full-length album to come this spring. “I want people to hear my music and say, it’s authentic and that’s the way music should be. Remind them of how it use to be and the way it used to sound. Bring back what could feel and when love and music was real,”