After the arduous creation of her 2015 album Better Than Home, including the death of co-producer Michael Stevens due to complications from cancer, Beth Hart was ready to have some fun — or at least a better time. And the sooner the better, writes Billboard magazine.
As a result, Fire On The Floor was written and recorded even before its predecessor was mixed. "I was like — 'I fell off a horse. If I don't get back on I won't get on again.'" Provogue/Mascot Records CEO Ed van Zijl was sympathetic and understanding, and gave Hart the money to go back in the studio. It turned out to be her best therapy.
There's plenty of weight in Fire On The Floor's 12 tracks, but the making of the album was as light as Better Than Home was heavy. Hart worked with producer Oliver Leiber, who hosted sessions at his home studio in Toluca Lake, Calif., and brought in ace players such as Waddy Wachtel and Dean Parks on guitar, Ivan Neville and Jim Cox on keyboards and Rick Marotta on drums.
"I really needed that experience of getting together with a group of people that are older and have been around a long time and know how to just enjoy themselves and be grateful to be alive, be grateful to make some music," Hart says. "I really needed to be around that energy. I needed to not take it too seriously this time. We laid down 16 songs in three days. It was super easy."
Kicking off with the jazzy lope of "Jazzman," Fire On The Floor is broad and diverse, rolling from the soulful grooves of "Love Gangster" to the torchy R&B of "Good Day To Cry" and "Picture In a Frame," the gritty blues of "Love Is A Lie" and "Coca Cola," and the crunchy rock of "Fat Man," which Hart co-wrote with Glenn Burtnick. "I've always written all over the place," Hart notes. "I've got a lot of different artists I love from a lot of different genres, so as a writer of course I'm going to write in different areas like that."
Let's Get Together
Picture In A Frame
Fire On The Floor
Woman You've Been Dreaming Of
Baby Shot Me Down
Good Day To Cry
Love Is A Lie
No Place Like Home