Ricky Lawson / First Things 1st


Detroit native Ricky D. Lawson, well known as a co-founder and the drummer of the contemporary jazz/ fusion band Yellow Jackets, played extensively for big names including Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Babyface, Al Jarreau, George Benson, George Duke and many more. It should be added that Lawson played for Steely Dan’s Grammy winning album “Two Against Nature”. Such a talented drummer passed away in December 2013 due to a brain haemorrhage at the age of 59.
In the autumn of 1998, Lawson released this first leader album “First Things 1st” in Japan. All the tracks features vocals. Ricky plays not only drums /but also percussion, synths, bass and electric piano, that proved his producing and songwriting skills, full of good adult contemporary melodies and R&B feel rather than smooth jazz feel. A year later, this album was also released in USA, under the project name of “Ricky Lawson and Friends”, on which artworks his friends’ names are shown, such as Gerald Albright, Phil Collins, George Duke, Sheila E., James Ingram, Boney James, Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum and Vesta Williams,
In 2001, the expanded edition with two bonus tracks; Planet Hope (Homeless Organization Theme Song) and Without You, was rereleased in USA.

Release: 26 November, 1998 (Japan) / 1999 (USA)
Label : Samsung Music, Korea distributed by Video Arts Music, Japan (VACM1134) / Platinum Entertainment , USA (15095-9568-2)

1. Real Love
2. Plain Old Fashion Love
3. Slow And Gentle
4. I Will Be Here Waiting For You
5. Sweet Love
6. Blues Club
7. Need Somebody
8. Simple Man
9. Sunlight
10. So Sprecial
11. Love Will Bring Us Back Around

Re-release: 28 August, 2001
Label: Pioneer Entertainment, USA (PIO-CD-5166-2)

1. Real Love
2. Plain Old Fashioned Love
3. Planet Hope (Homeless Organization Theme Song)
4. Slow And Gentle
5. I Will Be Here Waiting For You
6. Sweet Love
7. Without You
8. Blues Club
9. Need Somebody
10. Simple Man
11. Sunlight
12. So Special
13. Love Will Bring Us Back Around

Producer: Ricky Lawson

Ricky Lawson: Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Bass

- Musicians-
Lead Vocals: Bridgette Bryant, Sean Holt, Vesta Williams, James Ingram, Al Jarreau, David Thomas
Background Vocals: The Emotions, Arnold McColler, Linn Fedmont, Fred White, Bill Cantos, Sean Holt, Amy Keys, Nigel Martinez, Josei James, Perri Sisters, Jason Brown, Israel Hollingworth, Lyndon Peats, Sheryl Cagelese, Sonya Sampson
Guitar: Al Mckay, Greg Moore, Carlos Rios, Roben Ford, Tony Maiden
Bass: Jimmy Haslip, Nathan East, Marcus Miller, Byron Miller, Neil Stubenhaus
Keyboards: Bill Cantos, Joe Wolfe, Brad Buxer, Nathan East, Russell Ferrante, George Duke
Piano: Donald Fagen, Greg Phillinganes
Percussion: Sheila E., Peter Michael, Luis Conte, Phil Collins, Paulinho Da Costa
Sax: Andrew Woolfolk, Kirk Whalum, Boney James, Gerald Albright, Jim Reid
Vibes: Roger Burns
Strings Arrangement: Victot Hall