Lenny Henry launches The Cops Don't Know video

Lenny Henry and Jakko Jakszyk
Lenny Henry and Jakko Jakszyk (Image credit: John McMurtrie)

Lenny Henry has released a video for The Cops Don’t Know. It’s taken from his album New Millennium Blues, which was made during the filming of the Sky Arts series Lenny Henry Gets The Blues, and recorded with King Crimson guitarist Jakko Jakszyk.

Cops Don’t Know came out of lots of reading about Gun crime in the USA,” says Henry. “Writers like Gary Younge, film makers like Michael Moore and an amazing page on the guardian website called The Counted which collates information about all those gunned down unlawfully by the police.

“The lyrics were written over a weekend and then I sent them to Jakko, never expecting to hear anything again. The track that came back to me shortly after, complete with gospel harmonies and overdubs and buckets of soul, was a triumph. The video has the same ‘labour of love’ style vibe. Sam Chegini is clearly gifted and I want to thank him and all the students who assisted him in his efforts. It’s great work.”

“I received this undeniably powerful lyric from Lenny, but called him to say that it was too late,” adds Jakszyk. “We’d finished recording the album and had no budget left to go back to the studio with the band we’d put together. I suggested, as an alternative, that I would try and write a simple acoustic blues thing that we do with just guitars and voice.

“Next thing I knew it developed, rather quickly, into this epic. After the acoustics I tracked up 30 or so of myself singing, found the drums from another track and edited it together, played the bass, keys & some fake strings and what started as an afterthought, ended up being a significant part of the record.”

New Millenium Blues is out now. A deluxe version featuring previously unheard new songs is released on April 22.

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