It’s unclear when, or if, Booker T. and the MGs will record again: ‘I’m not saying never’

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Silent for more than two decades now, Booker T. and the MGs have lost another member since 1994’s That’s the Way It Should Be — leaving only Steve Cropper and Booker T. Jones from their longest-running lineup.

Both have been busy, more recently, with solo projects. Jones released Sound the Alarm in 2013 and The Road to Memphis in 2011. Steve Cropper meanwhile issued Dedicated, a 2011 tribute to his personal inspirations the 5 Royales.

It remains unclear when — or even if — the two old friends will record again.

“I’m not saying never; we’re still in touch and we still talk, and we’re still close,” Booker T. Jones tells the Irish Times. “It’s just that I’ve been so curious about other things. But he’s still active and he still plays great. When I go to Nashville, I see him. You never know what will happen there.”

Bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn passed in 2012, following founding drummer Al Jackson Jr., who was murdered 40 years ago. Anton Fig filled in for Jackson in the That’s the Way It Should Be era, which also included a signature performance at the Bob Dylan 30th anniversary concert. Original bassist Lewie Steinberg was with the band between 1962-65, a period that included two albums and their legendary single “Green Onions” — a song that even now, quite frankly, challenges Jones.

“It always has been a challenging little pattern for me, ever since I was a young boy,” Jones says of “Green Onions,” a Top 40 hit in 1962. “To play it the way I feel is correct, and with the right feeling, is never easy. I’m still learning about it. We had this special moment when the tape was running on the original recording, so the goal is always to try to recreate that.”

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