William Shatner and Ritchie Blackmore go where no musical duo have been before

William Shatner / Ritchie Blackmore
(Image credit: Cleopatra Records / Future)

Star Trek legend William Shatner has had an unlikely parallel career as a musician ever since releasing his psychedelic spoken word classic The Transformed Man back in 1968. 

In recent years he's ramped up the activity, releasing the Prog-friendly Seeking Major Tom and 2017's Ponder The Mystery, and the following year he put out a Christmas album starring everyone from Iggy Pop to Todd Rundgren, Billy Gibbons, Ian Anderson, Rick Wakeman and Brad Paisley.

Now he has the blues.

The Blues - yes, it's that literal – will be released on October 2, and features a plethora of stellar guests, including former Deep Purple and Rainbow legend Ritchie Blackmore and wife Candice Knight, who join the party for a cover of the Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell song The Thrill Is Gone, famously a hit for BB King in 1970.

It's what you'd expect: Blackmore tosses around some typically tasty licks, while Shatner recites the lyrics in the manner of a beat poet holding court in a late-night jazz bar. 

Elsewhere on the album, Tyler Bryant can be found contributing to a cover of Born Under A Bad Sign, Pat Travers joins in on I Put A Spell On You, and Albert Lee appears on a cover of The Dirty South's In Hell I'll Be Good Company. Full tracklist bellow.

The Blues is released on October 2

William Shatner - The Blues tracklist

1. Sweet Home Chicago feat. Brad Paisley
2. I Can’t Quit You Baby feat. Kirk Fletcher
3. Sunshine of Your Love feat. Sonny Landreth
4. The Thrill Is Gone feat. Ritchie Blackmore
5. Mannish Boy feat. Ronnie Earl
6. Born Under a Bad Sign feat. Tyler Bryant
7. I Put A Spell on You feat. Pat Travers
8. Crossroads feat. James Burton
9. Smokestack Lightnin’ feat. Jeff “Skunk” Baxter
10. As the Years Go Passing By feat. Arthur Adams
11. Let’s Work Together feat. Harvey Mandel & Canned Heat
12. Route 66 feat. Steve Cropper
13. In Hell I’ll Be in Good Company feat. Albert Lee
14. Secrets Or Sins

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.