Cory Wong Welcomes Billy Strings, Victor Wooten, Chromeo, More Info on New Album, “Power Station” [Review/Stream]
Prolific funk guitarist and bandleader Cory Wang released their latest album, Power plant. The fifteen-track collection features collaborations with a long, eclectic list of high-profile guests, including Billy strings, Chromeo, Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Sierra Hulland more.
Over the past few weeks, Wong has been releasing songs from Power plant via the second season of its online musical variety series, Cory and the Wongnotes, streaming now on Wong’s YouTube channel. Each of the guest appearances on the album corresponds to a new episode of the variety show, which releases a new episode every Tuesday. Previously released season two episodes include collaborations with Chromeo and big savage.
Cory and the Wongtones – Season 2 trailer
On Power plant, Wong and his core team skillfully work this parade of collaborators into their orbit. With a bespoke approach tailored to each artist’s forte, Wong meets his guests on neutral ground and gently draws everyone deeper into the vast world of Wongnotes.
After lifting off with the titular track, a scintillating blast of disco decadence, the funky ride continues with catchy tunes featuring Big Wild (“Crisis”), Chromeo [“J.A.M. (Just A Minunte)”], Joey Dosick (“First Avenue”), and lindsay ell (“Every time I look at you”).
“Olympia,” one of three songs on the album without a featured guest, is vintage Cory Wong, its minimalist instrumentation showcasing the band’s skills while allowing the smooth, simple melodies to stay front and center.
Marc Lettieri brings out a jazz-fusion inspiration à la Snarky Puppy on “Concrete”, Victor Wooten makes sure “Direct Flyte” hits harder than the rest of the pack, and Nate SmithThe inimitable feel of the snare drum and hi-hat steals the show on “News To Me”. On “Here To Say”, with a veteran dan of steel session guitarist larry carltonthe Wongnotes provide a lavish backdrop for Wong and Carlton to color with creative leads.
After a series of ten jazz-funk earworms, Power plant cut the lights for a series of mostly acoustic, bluegrass-focused songs, featuring some of the genre’s best and brightest. While Fleck’s two collabs, “Line and Lure” and “Pebbles,” remain in the realm of traditional, Power plantTops Billy Strings and Sierra Hull strive to throw the genre out the window.
Aided by an active backbeat, the Strings collab, “Road Trip”, struts and leaps its way, Eddie Barbas shading the sunny theme from guitar to soprano saxophone. With a breakdown clearly intended for a live guitar showdown, look for this track to fill a slot similar to “Blue Bird” (which originally featured Chris Thile) when guests stop by Cory’s concerts in the future – and we hope one of those guests will be you, Billy Strings. The song ends with an enveloping piano wash, sounding and feeling closer to Wong and Jon Batisteis nominated for the Grammy Awards meditations EP that acoustic sound track songs LP.
Along with Sierra Hull, Wong delivers perhaps the album’s most familiar song, “Over The Mountain,” which the two regularly performed together on tour earlier this year. Grounded in a traditional melody, the song soon soars to new heights as the two prodigious musicians push each other in uncharted directions.
“Nostalgia”, the last track of the album, seems to merge the ideas of Power plant‘s two relatively separate acts. With an upbeat strum motif lifted by atmospheric textures, the song embraces the warm simplicity of looking back on what was while symbolically opening our arms to whatever might come next.
Power plant, Cory Wong’s new album, is now available on streaming services as well as a limited edition 12″ Double Black Vinyl. Listen to the full album via Spotify below.
Cory Wong– Power plant – Complete Album
Cory Wang Power plant Track list
Crisis (feat. Big Wild)
JAM [Just a Minute] (with Chromeo)
First Avenue (feat. Joey Dosik)
Every Time I Look At You (with Lindsay Ell)
Concrete (feat. Mark Lettieri)
Direct Flyte (with Victor Wooten)
Here to Stay (with Larry Carlton)
News To Me (feat. Nate Smith)
Road Trip (with Billy Strings)
Over the Mountain (feat. Sierra Hull)
Line and lure (feat. Béla Fleck)
Pebbles (feat. Béla Fleck)
Show track list
Cory Wong is currently traveling the world performing a series of live dates including sold-out shows, festival sets and more. North American dates begin tonight, Friday April 29, with two very special late night sets in New Orleans, LA NOLA Republic as a member of 9th Annual Nolafunk Series during Jazz Fest. Click below for a full list of Cory Wong’s confirmed tour dates. For ticket details and more information, go here.
2022 Cory Wong Tour Dates
29 – New Orleans, LA – Republic NOLA (9th Annual Nolafunk Series during Jazz Fest – 2 sets)
7 – Minneapolis, MN – Symphony Ball 2022 Concert & Party: Brilliance †
13 – Richmond, VA – Cheers Friday
28 – Chillicothe, IL – Summer Camp Music Festival*
29 – Petoskey, MI – Great Lakes Arts Center
3 – Lorton, Virginia – Workhouse Arts Center
4 – Oak Hill, WV – Mountain Music Festival*
5 – Lexington, KY – The Bramble
24 – Rothbury, MI – Electric Forest Festival*
25 – Los Angeles, California – Hollywood Bowl Jazz Fest *
29 – Ottawa, Canada – Ottawa Jazz Festival *
30 – Montreal, QC – Jazz Fest @ Club Soda *
1 – Toronto, Ontario – Danforth Music Hall
4 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheater **
10 – Rotterdam, Netherlands – North Sea Jazz Festival*‡
11 – Vienna, FR – Jazz in Vienna 2022 ^ ‡
12 – Madrid, ES – Noches del Botánico *‡
13 – Umbria, IT – Umbria Jazz*‡
16 – Pori, FI – Pori Jazz 2022*‡
19 – Molde, NW – Moldejazz*‡
28 – Darrington, WA – Summer Fusion*
30 – Newport, RI – Newport Jazz*
11 – Telluride, CO – Telluride Jazz Festival*
12 – Telluride, CO – Telluride Jazz Festival*
18 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theater #
20 – Des Moines, IA – DGPT
27 – Bridgeview, IL – Sacred Rose*
16 – Jeffersonville, Vermont – DGPT
18 – Paso Robles, CA – Whale Rock Music & Arts Festival*
15 – Charlotte, North Carolina – DGPT
* Festival show
† Special guest performer with the Minnesota Orchestra
^ with George Benson
‡ Joined by special guest Dave Koz
# w/Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
** with Blues Traveler
Show tour dates