Manu Lanvin: A Tribute to Calvin Russell

Manu Lanvin released an album paying tribute to the blues legend, Calvin Russell. In an interview with Jazz Radio, he shared the story behind this project, titled « Tribute to Calvin Russell. »

Calvin Russell played a significant role in Lanvin’s career, showing him a path to follow. Lanvin recalled their first meeting at a Paul Personne concert in 2006. They became friends, bonding over music and life discussions. Eventually, they recorded an album together, « Dawg Eat Dawg, » which was well-received.

The tribute concert at La Traverse in Cléon was a heartfelt evening, featuring American artists and Calvin Russell’s close collaborators. The emotional performance inspired Lanvin to create an album, capturing the essence of the live show.

While Lanvin directed and produced the album, he only sang on one track. His goal was to honor his friend and introduce Calvin Russell’s music to a wider audience. The collaboration with various artists was a challenging but rewarding experience, resulting in a heartfelt tribute to a beloved artist.

The album includes snippets of Calvin Russell’s voice from an unreleased documentary, adding a personal touch to the project. Lanvin’s dedication to preserving Russell’s legacy shines through in every aspect of the album.

Despite initial reluctance to form a tribute band, Lanvin agreed to perform live at select festivals with the album’s contributors. The limited tour dates allowed him to share the stage with fellow musicians and celebrate Calvin Russell’s music.

Maintaining a close connection with Russell’s family was crucial for Lanvin. He ensured their involvement in the project, seeking approval and support from Russell’s wife. The collaboration with family members added a deeper emotional dimension to the tribute album.

In conclusion, Manu Lanvin’s « Tribute to Calvin Russell » is a heartfelt homage to a blues icon, showcasing the enduring impact of Russell’s music on generations of fans.

Interview by Benoit Thuret
Article written by Grégory Curot