M. Ward Announces Billie Holiday Tribute Album ‘Think Of Spring’ & Shares Single

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M. Ward announced a new album, Think Of Spring, a tribute to jazz legend Billie Holiday with proceeds benefitting Inner-City Arts and DonorsChoose via PLUS1 for Black Lives Fund. Ward previewed the covers collection, which arrives on December 11 via ANTI-Records, with “For Heaven’s Sake.”

In a press release, Ward detailed the first time he heard Billie Holiday’s 1958 album Lady In Satin, where many of the songs on Think Of Spring were drawn from, while in a San Francisco mall:

I first heard [Billie’s album] Lady In Satin in a mega-shopping mall somewhere in San Francisco. I was about 20 years old and didn’t know much about Billie’s records or her life or how her voice changed over the years. Anyway, the sound was coming from the other side of the mall and I remember mistaking her voice for a beautiful perfectly distorted electric guitar – some other-world thing floating there on this strange mournful ocean of strings and I was hooked for life.
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Ward recorded much of Think Of Spring — the title for which comes from a 1924 poem by Jane Brown-Thompson that Billie incorporated into 1938’s “I Get Along Without You Very Well” (the new album’s opening track) — on an analog Tascam four track. The tribute LP sees Ward reimagining some of Lady Day’s classic recordings using alternate tunings for acoustic guitar.

“It still feels good to invent new guitar tunings and use them to help deconstruct old songs,” he said. “Billie Holiday’s “For Heaven’s Sake” [is] in a modified open B.”

Listen to M. Ward on “For Heaven’s Sake” below:

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Think Of Spring Tracklist:

  1. I Get Along Without You Very Well
  2. For Heaven’s Sake
  3. It’s Easy To Remember
  4. You’ve Changed
  5. Violets For Your Furs
  6. For All We Know
  7. But Beautiful
  8. All The Way
  9. I’m A Fool To Want You
  10. I’ll Be Around
  11. You Don’t Know What Love Is
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JamBase Live Video Archive