Completist fans of Chicago’s music know Bill Champlin’s “Sweet Marie” as a leftover from the sessions for 17, performed on the band’s 1984 tour but never officially released — that is, until now.
Champlin offered this lost song to the very Chicago-esque Norwegian band TOBB during a 2010 tour, and ultimately “Sweet Marie” became a collaborative addition to the group’s upcoming studio effort. Champlin, despite a recent health scare, still puts the lyric forth with a rough-hewn gusto — even as TOBB unleashes a furious stream of brass blasts courtesy of trumpeter Rune Haglund and trombonist Jorgen Gjerde.
Knut Anders Sorum, meanwhile, adds a smooth tandem vocal, while Steinar Borvik steps in for Chicago’s Walt Parazaider — who originally added one of his more muscular turns on the sax. TOBB is rounded out by Trond Nagel Dahl, Lars Endrerud and Erik Smith. Champlin’s wife Tamara also adds background vocals.
TOBB’s True to Our Sound is due on October 2014. “Sweet Marie” is being released in tandem with the 30th anniversary of Chicago 17‘s original release in 1984. Champlin, after being ousted from Chicago in 2008, has also recently recorded and toured with fellow former bandmate Danny Seraphine.