DETROIT (Billboard) - Hanson have recruited former Motown bass player Bob Babbitt and veteran horns arranger Jerry Hey for the fraternal trio’s first album in three years.
“Shout It Out,” which comes out June 8, represents some of the most soulful work ever committed to record by the former child stars behind the monster 1996 hit “Mmmbop.”
Seven of the songs feature horn charts by Hey (Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire), while Babbitt (“Ball of Confusion,” “The Tears of a Clown”) guests on six tracks.
Isaac, 29, Taylor, 27 and Zac Hanson, 24, produced the album during recording sessions in El Paso, their native Tulsa and Los Angeles.
“Y’know, we grew up listening to a lot of that early R&B stuff, especially ‘60s and ‘70s R&B,” Isaac Hanson told Billboard.com. “Otis (Redding) and countless others, and Motown...you forget how much horns played a part in a lot of really iconic kind of American R&B sound.
“And that also translated into more pop and singer-songwriter stuff we used to listen to, like Billy Joel’s ‘An Innocent Man,’ which is one of his biggest records, there’s horns all over the place on that record. That was the stuff we grew up listening to and ... really worked its way onto this record.”
The brothers said they “just wanted to have some fun” with the new album after what they called “challenging” sessions for 2007’s “The Walk” and 2004’s “Underneath,” which marked their return to the indie world.
Hanson will perform the first single, the dance tune “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You,” Friday on CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman” and April 26 on NBC’s “Today” show. The group will perform at Bamboozle New Jersey on May 1 and then play eight dates on the Bamboozle Road Show later in the month.
Meanwhile, the trio is currently gearing up for a five-show run at New York’s Gramercy Theater from April 26-30, each of which will feature a different one of Hanson’s last five albums played from start to finish. Isaac Hanson said the group plans to film and record the shows, though no release details have been determined. Live streams are also being considered.