Lettin' Go, Son Seals' last studio album in over five years, contains nearly all original material, features Al Kooper on Hammond B-3, guitarist Jimmy Vivino (and others) from Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and includes a new version of Seals' classic "Funky Bitch," with guitarist Trey Anastasio of Phish.
On Lettin' Go, Seals reached all the way back and added the influences he heard while growing up. Born Frank "Son" Seals in Osceola, Arkansas in 1942, the guitarist and singer was raised in a house of blues. His father owned the Dipsy Doodle, a local roadhouse that featured the likes of Albert King and Sonny Boy Williamson. By age 13, Seals was playing drums behind Delta great Robert Nighthawk. He soon picked up the guitar and became a frontman. In 1971, he moved to Chicago, eventually developing into one of blues' leading performers.
Seals was not only a consistently outstanding guitarist with a gritty, intense voice and a deeply-rooted sense of rhythm, he was also a true blues survivor. His jaw was reconstructed after his now former wife shot him in the face in 1997. In 1999, Seals lost part of his left leg due to diabetes. Then in December 2004, Seals lost his battle with diabetes.
Liner notes include a short story by Andrew Vachss. The author of over a dozen crime-fiction novels, including Choice of Evil, and an attorney whose only clients are children, Vachss also co-wrote the songs "Bad Blood" and "Doc's Blues" with Seals.
Phish also performs "Funky Bitch" on their 6-CD live album.