Release Day Picks: April 24th New Album Highlights
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 Lucinda Williams, Jerry Garcia, Brendan Benson, Andy Frasco and The U.N., King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Tea Leaf Green. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Lucinda Williams – Good Souls Better Angels
The Scoop: Acclaimed singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams takes aim at politicians and infuses her take on current events into her latest studio album. Good Souls Better Angels runs 11 seconds short of an hour and the Highway 20/Thirty Tigers release contains a total of 12 songs. Williams tapped Ray Kennedy and Tom Overby to co-produce the follow-up to 2017’s This Sweet Old World. However, her last LP was a re-recording of 1992’s Sweet Old World so Good Souls Better Angels is actually Lucinda’s first album of new material since The Ghosts Of Highway 20 in 2016. The new release finds Lucinda Williams backed by her long time band of drummer Butch Norton, bassist David Sutton and guitarist Stuart Mathis and includes songs dealing with the 24/7 news cycle (“Bad News Blues”), domestic abuse (“Wakin’ Up”), her problem with the current U.S. president (“Man Without A Soul”) and other controversial topics.
Jerry Garcia – GarciaLive Volume 13: September 16th, 1989 Poplar Creek Music Theatre
The Scoop: On September 16, 1989 the Jerry Garcia Band brought their fall tour to the Chicagoland venue Poplar Creek Music Theatre. The classic JGB lineup of Jerry Garcia, John Kahn, Melvin Seals, David Kemper, Jacklyn LaBranch and Gloria Jones was joined by a very special guest — Clarence Clemons. The “Big Man” was on hiatus with the rest of the E Street Band and joined Garcia and company for five shows, the fifth of which took place at Poplar Creek. GarciaLive Volume 13: September 16, 1989 features an official recording of the entire show. Included within are such Jerry Band staples as “Cats Under The Stars,” “Dear Prudence,” “They Love Each Other,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Tangled Up In Blue.” The set also contains “Let’s Spend The Night Together,” a Rolling Stones cover the JGB busted out earlier in the year for the first time since 1976.
Brendan Benson – Dear Life
The Scoop: Brendan Benson is back with his first solo album in nearly seven years, Dear Life, following 2013’s You Were Right. The new LP also marks Benson’s full-length debut on Third Man Records, the label of fellow Raconteur Jack White. Benson produced and almost entirely performed Dear Life‘s 11 tracks himself at his Readymade Studio in Nashville, “fueled by a heady brew of cannabis, hip-hop, and a newly discovered interest in software drum programming,” according to a statement. Benson’s willingness to wade into uncharted waters is evident on the album’s future funk-tinged opening salvo, “I Can If You Want Me To,” while tracks like “Good To Be Alive” and “Richest Man Alive” affirm the album’s themes of life, love, family and fatherhood.
Andy Frasco & The U.N. – Keep On Keepin’ On
The Scoop: Andy Frasco & The U.N. are offering an encouraging message on their latest studio album, Keep On Keepin’ On, which arrived today via SideOneDummy Records. The new record — co-produced by Frasco and Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools — sees Andy addressing mental health issues in the music industry and beyond. Frasco suffers from depression and wanted to shine a light on his own struggles in hopes that it would help others. “This is why I wrote Keep On Keepin’ On,” he said in a trailer for the album. “Every song is about how we’re going to improve our psyche.” Those songs include the title track, “None Of These Things” and “Feel It In Our Bones.”
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Chunky Shrapnel
The Scoop: Last week, Australian rockers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard premiered a concert film entitled Chunky Shrapnel via a digital screening that was available on-demand for 24 hours only. Today, the band unveils the soundtrack for the film, which documents King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s tour of Europe and the U.K. last fall. “John Stewart (director of Chunky Shrapnel) followed us around for a few weeks through Europe,” explained the band’s Stu Mackenzie. “It was fun and funny and wild and weird. Sometimes an inconspicuous fly on the wall, sometimes an intrusive camera man one inch from my face. Always exciting though. Chunky Shrapnel was made for the cinema but as both concerts and films are currently outlawed, it feels poetic to release a concert-film digitally right now.” The soundtrack features 13 tracks picked by the band as well as a score for the film composed by Mackenzie. Material spans 2016’s Nonagon Infinity through last year’s Infest The Rats’ Nest. For those who missed the concert film, another screening will be available starting at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT today (Friday, April 24) for a 24-hour period here.
Tea Leaf Green – Destination Bound
The Scoop: The story of Destination Bound, the first Tea Leaf Green album since 2013’s In The Wake starts in the fall of 2018. Drummer Scott Rager called keyboardist Trevor Garrod and told him he booked studio time and wanted to record an album. Thankfully, Garrod had material prepared. “I kept on writing, mostly for myself,” Trevor explained. “I’d catch a song in an evening with a bottle of wine or one would come around some Saturday morning while I was drinking coffee. I’d press them in the pages of my little notebook, where they would be forgotten in the drawer of my desk.“ Fast forward to the following February where the pair were joined by bassist Eric DiBerardino — making his first appearance on a TLG LP — and guitarist Josh Clark for sessions helmed by Kevin Friedrichsen at Oakland’s Grey Room. The bulk of Destination Bound was recorded over the course of three days and after more than a year of tweaks, the nine-track studio album has arrived.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.