British DJ Joey Negro has dropped a great new remix of ‘Heed The Message’ by former Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist Al McKay and his All Stars.
Back in 2016 we brought you news of a new album by former Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist Al McKay and the release of the first single, the decent ‘Heed The Message’. Sadly, no album ever materialised, but this song has been given a new lease of life thanks to British DJ and remixer Joey Negro who has got hold of this under-the-radar track, and turned it into a modern dancefloor jam. Given a makeover of new beats, new bass and “dancefloor energy”, Negro’s remix of ‘Heed The Message’ is a delight.
As the prime guitarist for Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) during their most successful period, Al McKay wrote himself into the soul history books by becoming one of the most renowned and sought after guitarists of the seventies and eighties. Not only did his guitar licks grace the recordings and live performances of the group, McKay also co-wrote several of the group’s biggest hits, including ‘Sing a Song’ and the classic ‘September’. He also co-wrote The Emotions’ biggest hit, ‘Best of My Love’.
By 1980 McKay decided to leave EWF, turning his attention to production. As a producer he’s worked with The Temptations (along with former-EWF bandmate Ralph Johnson, who still performs with the group) and produced their Truly For You album, which yielded the hit ‘Treat Her Like A Lady’. He’s also played guitar for many of the greats in the studio and on stage, including the likes of Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Patrice Rushen and many, many more. He also formed the The Al McKay Allstars/Earth, Wind & Fire Experience, and has released an album of EWF covers and a live album. The group continues to tour the world.
As we wrote two years ago, ‘Heed the Message’ is a throwback to McKay’s days with EWF, but while the song does hark back to his days writing, producing and playing with EWF visonary Maurice White, the song feels fresh and forward looking, containing a message for the 21st Century. Joey Negro’s new mix adds extra punch to the original, transforming it into a potential dancefloor favourite.
You can stream Joey Negro’s mix of ‘Heed the Message’ on Soundcloud, and you can purchase the track via his Z Records website.