Friday is more than just a collection of songs - it’s a fully formed compelling work of art, and their strongest release yet. Welcome to the Monkey House!
Sophisticated musicianship, imaginative lyrics, and a flair for melody are signatures of the sound of Monkey House, a sound that has earned the group serious critical acclaim, peer respect, and a steadily expanding international following.
Those characteristics are again evident on Friday, set for release on ALMA Records July 26, 2019. It is the fifth full-length release from the L.A./Toronto combo that has just celebrated the notable milestone of 25 years of playing together. That rare longevity has resulted in an invaluable empathy in the musical interactions of the core members: singer/songwriter/keyboardist Don Breithaupt, drummer Mark Kelso, bassist Pat Kilbride, and guitarist Justin Abedin. Also contributing prominently to Friday is the elite Toronto horn section of William Sperandei, Vern Dorge, John Johnson, William Carn and Tony Carlucci, as well as percussionist Art Avalos.
Adding to the comfort level in the studio for the recording of Friday was the return of the team of co-producer Peter Cardinali and engineer John ‘Beetle’ Bailey, reprising their roles from previous Monkey House records.
Cardinali also plays bass on four tracks. All but two of the tracks on Friday are solo Don Breithaupt compositions. One of them, "Book Of Liars", is a cover of a song by Steely Dan's Walter Becker. "As a lifelong Steely Dan fan, Walter's death hit me hard," says Don. "I thought it'd be a nice gesture to do one of his."
As has become the norm on Monkey House records, Friday features some notable guests. Guitarist Drew Zingg (Boz Scaggs) and trumpeter Michael Leonhart (Steely Dan) have guested on previous albums and make tasteful contributions here, as does François D’Amours (Gino Vannelli), and Snarky Puppy guitarist Mark Lettieri. Ground Up artist Lucy Woodward (Rod Stewart) adds background vocals throughout, while famed vocal quartet The Manhattan Transfer add their magic to the choruses of “The Jazz Life.” It’s hard to mistake the sound of those four incredible voices together.”