Release Day Picks: August 23rd New Album Highlights

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Each week Release Day Picks profiles new LPs and EPs Team JamBase will be checking out on release day Friday. This week we highlight new albums by Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Holly Bowling, Tanya Tucker, Jay Som and The Rubinoos. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.


Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Brighter Days

The Scoop: Robert Randolph & The Family Band get back to their gospel roots on their new Mascot Label Group album, Brighter Days. The 10-track record features nine originals and a cover of “Simple Man” by the Staples Singers. Randolph tapped Dave Cobb to produce the LP. “Dave Cobb is just a guy who likes to record good music and good songs,” said Randolph of working with the producer. “He wanted to do something that was fun but it also gives you a gospel feeling. He knows the history of our band, coming from church and giving that fun church feeling to people.”


Holly Bowling – Live At The Old Church

The Scoop: Holly Bowling mixes solo piano interpretations of Grateful Dead and Phish classics on her debut live album, Live At The Old Church. The release features a recording of Bowling’s September 21, 2018 concert at The Old Church Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon. Holly bookended the first set that night with a “Lost Sailor” opener and “Saint Of Circumstance” closer and fit “Dark Star,” “Let It Grow” and “Piper” within “Theme From The Bottom” in the second set. The pianist was first known for her Phish interpretations and then added Grateful Dead songs to her repertoire after performing “Eyes Of The World” for JamBase’s Songs Of Their Own series in 2015. While she has been focusing her time on Ghost Light since the start of 2018, Bowling still finds time for solo shows and will embark on her first solo tour of the year tonight.


Tanya Tucker – While I’m Livin’

The Scoop: For her first album of new material in 17 years, acclaimed outlaw country vocalist Tanya Tucker sought out Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings to produce While I’m Livin’. The bulk of the songs on While I’m Livin’ were co-written by Carlile and her band mates Tim Hanseroth and Phil Hanseroth. The follow-up to the 60-year-old Tucker’s 2002 album, Tanya, also includes a few covers, like the Jennings-slected “High Ridin’ Heroes” which was released in 1987 by his father Waylon Jennings and David Lynn Jones, “The House That Built Me” that was a hit for Miranda Lambert and “Hard Luck” originally by country-rockers Josefus. “It’s a musical biography of sorts, about Tanya’s real life and the places she’s seen,” Carlile stated. “And it’s narrated by the greatest country and western singer this side of Johnny Cash.”


Jay Som – Anak Ko

The Scoop: Recording as Jay Som since 2015, Melina Duterte once again wrote, recorded, produced and mixed her latest album, Anak Ko at home — a washing machine can be heard in the background of some songs. The typically D.I.Y. Duterte this time worked with collaborators, adding additional vocals, drums, guitars, strings and pedal steel via contributions from Justus Proffit, Laetitia Tamko of Vagabon, Annie Truscott of Chastity Belt, Taylor Vick of Boy Scouts, and Duterte’s band mates Zachary Elasser, Oliver Pinnell and Dylan Allard. “In order to change, you’ve got to make so many mistakes,” Duterte stated. “What’s helped me is forcing myself to be even more peaceful and kind with myself and others. You can get so caught up in attention, and the monetary value of being a musician, that you can forget to be humble. You can learn more from humility than the flashy stuff. I want kindness in my life. Kindness is the most important thing for this job, and empathy.” The album’s title was inspired by a text message Duterte’s mother sent. Anak Ko (pronounced Anuhk-Ko), translates to “my child” in Tagalog (a native dialect in the Philippines), which Duterte’s mother commonly calls her. “It’s an endearing thing to say, it feels comfortable,” said Duterte.


The Rubinoos – From Home

The Scoop: Veteran Bay Area-based power pop rockers The Rubinoos teamed with producer Chuck Prophet for their new album out today on Yep Roc Records, From Home. The 12 songs on From Home were co-written by The Rubinoos co-founder Tommy Dunbar and Prophet. In addition to Dunbar, fellow classic lineup members Jon Rubin, Donn Spindt and Al Chan took part in recording From Home. The band that formed as teenagers in 1970 recorded their new LP at San Francisco’s Hyde Street Studios, the same location they recorded their first single for Beserkley Records in the mid-1970s.


Compiled by Scott Bernstein and Andy Kahn.