Don’t Miss New Albums Out Today From Grace Potter, Karina Rykman, Rhiannon Giddens, Jon Batiste & More

Mapache, Gregory Alan Isakov, Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs, and DeYarmond Edison also have new releases out today.

By Team JamBase Aug 18, 2023 6:12 am PDT

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 Grace Potter, Karina Rykman, Rhiannon Giddens, Jon Batiste, Mapache, Gregory Alan Isakov, Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs, and DeYarmond Edison. Read on for more insight into the records we have ready to spin.

Grace Potter – Mother Road

Singer-songwriter Grace Potter released Mother Road, her first in four years, today through Fantasy Records. The long-awaited follow-up to Potter’s Grammy-nominated 2019 album Daylight, Mother Road is Potter’s fifth studio LP. Eric Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Nickel Creek) helmed the album recorded at Nashville’s storied RCA Studio A and Topangadise in Topanga, California. Potter is joined on the album by Heartbreaker Benmont Tench on keyboards along with guitarist Nick Bockrath, bassist Tim Deaux, drummer Matt Musty and pedal steel guitarist Dan Kalisher. Grace also teamed up with renowned singer-songwriter Natalie Hemby to co-write the track “Little Hitchhiker.” Potter detailed Mother Road:

“In Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck called Route 66 the ‘The Mother of all roads…the road of flight.’ As I zeroed out my odometer and started west on my road trip across the US, I hoped that driving the road of flight would give me a bird’s eye view of my life. But it didn’t take long to realize that I was not flying; I was running away. In the solitude, I found myself smashing open the piggy bank of deeply-buried memories. Those gems of my real-life exploits spilled into my creative consciousness and emboldened me to write an album that reaches far beyond what actually happened–launching me down the alternate-reality roads of what could have happened.”

Karina Rykman – Joyride

Bassist and singer-songwriter Karina Rykman released her debut full-length studio album, Joyride, today through AWAL. Rykman enlisted mentor Trey Anastasio of Phish to co-produce the album and contribute to five songs including the title track. Rykman recorded portions of Joyride at Anastasio’s famed Vermont studio The Barn with longtime Phish collaborator Bryce Goggin mixing. In 2019, Rykman issued a series of independent singles. Some of those songs, such as “Elevator” and “Plants,” have been reworked for inclusion on Joyride. Childhood friend Gabe Monro is the other co-producer of the nine-track LP. Other contributors include Monro (keys/synth bass), Corsico (drums) and the Disco Biscuits’ keyboardist Aron Magner (synth).

“You only get to make your first album once,” Rykman explained, “and I couldn’t be prouder of what we created with this one. It’s a moment in time – the first of what I hope to be a lifetime of making records and touring behind them. I don’t care about bells and whistles; I’m just addicted to playing.”

Rykman also discussed working with Trey Anastasio, stating:

“Trey and I hadn’t seen each other since pre-pandemic. But at this music festival, he ran up to me and referred to each of my singles by name. I had no idea he knew what I was up to, musically speaking. I went to middle school with his daughters, and we’ve been ‘family friends’ for a long time, but it wasn’t until that moment in July 2021 that he really became a musical peer. The amount of selflessness and care he has shown in his mentorship toward me is awe-inspiring. I could never thank him enough for all he’s given me.”

Rhiannon Giddens – You’re The One

Rhiannon Giddens is back with her first solo album in six years, You’re The One, which is out now via Nonesuch Records. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist announced You’re The One on the heels of winning a Pulitzer prize for her work with Michael Abels (Get Out, Nope) on the opera Omar. The new 12-track record is Giddens’ first solo album since 2017’s critically acclaimed Freedom Highway and her first LP of all-original songs. Helmed by renowned producer Jack Splash at Miami’s Criteria Recording Studios, You’re The One sees Giddens tapping a number of longtime collaborators to work with including her partner Francesco Turrisi, multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell, bassist Jason Sypher and Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu along with a host of sessions players adding horns, strings and more. The LP contains a sole featured guest spot from Jason Isbell. Musically, You’re The One is a mélange of American musical forms.

“I hope that people just hear American music,” Giddens said of the new record. “Blues, jazz, Cajun, country, gospel, and rock—it’s all there. I like to be where it meets organically. They’re fun songs, and I wanted them to have as much of a chance as they could to reach people who might dig them but don’t know anything about what I do. If they’re introduced to me through this record, they might go listen to other music I’ve made and make some new discoveries.”

Jon Batiste – World Music Radio

Acclaimed musician Jon Batiste released World Music Radio, a new concept album issued by Verve Records. The follow-up to Batiste’s Album of the Year Grammy Award winning We Are features 21 tracks and many special guests. Joining Batiste on the eclectic new release includes >strong>Kenny G, Lana Del Rey, Lil’ Wayne, Jon Bellion, J.I.D, Camilo, NewJeans, Fireboy DML, Native Soul, Rita Payés, Leigh-Anne and Michael Batiste. According to promotional materials:

This concept album stars Batiste as interstellar traveling Griot/DJ Billy Bob Bo Bob (a.k.a B4) who examines popular music from around the globe on a radio broadcast from Earth to the rest of the universe – begging the question, isn’t all music, world music? Inspired by his decades-long study of music and culture, world music radio is a sonic passport for the ears, seeing Batiste reach new artistic heights with global collaborators Jon Bellion, Lil Wayne, Fireboy DML, J.I.D, Camilo, NewJeans and others – blurring the sonic boundaries known as “genre” and transforming your Tuesday morning into Saturday night.

“I created this album with a feeling of liberation in my life and a renewed sense of exploration of my personhood, my craft and of the world around me unlike anything I had ever felt before,” Batiste stated.

Mapache – Swinging Stars

Cosmic folk outfit Mapache released their new studio album, Swinging Stars, today through Innovative Leisure. Mapache, the duo of guitarists/vocalists Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch, expanded to a trio with drummer Steve Didelot contributing to all 14 of the tracks making up Swinging Stars. The follow-up to 2022’s Roscoe’s Dream once again sees Mapache working with producer/bassist Dan Horne as he has their previous four releases. Recording took place over a week while staying together at the scenic Panoramic House studio in Stinson Beach, California. Didelot wrote the song “Reflecting Everything,” while “Rainbow Song” is credited to Seamus Turner. Allah-Lahs’ bassist Spencer Dunham appears on the track, “French Kiss.” Renowned singer-songwriter/guitarist David Rawlings remotely recorded an acoustic guitar part for the song, “Where’d You Go.”

“He’s someone who Sam and I look up to in a pretty serious way,” Finch said of Rawlings. “So it was cool to have him.”

Longtime friends since high school, Blasucci and Finch approached songwriting differently, partly due to the fact that they no longer live in the same city. The distance forced the pair to work on some of the songs independently before bringing them to the project.

Swinging Stars was probably the first Mapache record where each of us really leaned into our personal, distinct styles,” stated Blasucci, whose forthcoming debut solo album, Off My Stars, came out in June.

Gregory Alan Isakov – Appaloosa Bones

Appaloosa Bones is the first new album from singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov in five years. Out today through Dualtone Records and Isakov’s own Suitcase Town Music, the album is the follow-up to his 2018 Grammy-nominated LP, Evening Machines. The multi-instrumentalist captured the new record at his studio outside of Boulder, Colorado and co-produced Appaloosa Bones with Andrew Berlin (Descendents, Rise Against). Isakov detailed the new album:

“I set out to make a folky, small lo-fi rock ‘n’ roll record. And then the songs kind of told me, ‘No, this is what it’s going to be.’ And so I said, ‘OK,’ and after a while, I was just holding onto the reins, waiting to see where it was going and how the material worked. What I found was a collection of songs that brought me back to when I was starting out playing with the band—traveling a lot in the van, playing throughout the Southwest and West. These wide open landscapes had this quietness and expansive deepness that grounded me and evoked a lot of the curiosities I was drawn to when I started writing songs.”

Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs – Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs Sing and Play New Folk Songs for Children

Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs collaborated with his childhood friend and San Francisco preschool teacher Mr. Greg (Greg Gardner) on the newly released album, Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs Sing and Play New Folk Songs for Children. Issued by Smithsonian Folkways, Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs Sing and Play New Folk Songs for Children stems from Gardner and McCombs’ longtime friendship. Some of the topics touched on in Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs Sing and Play New Folk Songs for Children include “earthworms, exercise, recycling, and origami, as well as the importance of friendship and finding beauty in that which makes us different.” The record also features “recordings of Gardner’s students through the years, as well as contributions from childhood friends, family, pets, The Chapin Sisters, Bongo Sidibe, Chris Cohen, and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.”

“Whenever we have a new project or we’re learning about something new in class, I try to make a little song about it,” Gardner stated. “I’ve noticed that it’s a fun way to introduce new vocabulary, learn about new subjects, and foster a positive and musical classroom community. And as a kid myself, the things that I remember most vividly are those things that I learned through song. At that age, not everyone wants to sit and listen to the teacher talk, or even listen to a book. But a lot of kids tend to become engaged when there’s movement and song and rhyme. I don’t know if I’ve developed much further than a five-year-old mindset myself,” Gardner said. “I like all the stuff they’re interested in doing. They like to sing. They like to dig in the sandbox. They like to make art.”

“A lot of what’s called children’s music is just folk music,” McCombs added. “So I don’t see a big difference between children’s music and adult music. To me, it’s the same.”

DeYarmond Edison – Epoch

In 1998 while high school classmates in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Justin Vernon, Joe Westerlund and brothers Phil Cook and Brad Cook formed a band originally known as Mount Vernon. After a few recordings, the group changed its name to DeYarmond Edison (Vernon’s middle names) and though they made some additional impactful records, by 2006 the band had dissolved. Vernon soon went on to form the influential Bon Iver, while the Cook brothers and Westerland formed the short-lived, psych-folk band Megafaun. Following that band’s demise, Brad Cook went on to become an in-demand producer and session musician, Phil Cook pursued several projects and launched a successful solo career and Westerlund expanded his musical reach logging credits with bands such as Sylvan Esso, Watchhouse and others. Consisting of five vinyl LPs, four additional CDs and 60,000-word essay written by executive producer Grayson Haver Currin, DeYarmond Edison’s all-encompassing Epoch box set arrives via Jagjaguwar on August 18. Available now are early recordings of DeYarmond Edison’s “As Long As I Can Go” and Phil Cook and Vernon’s “Feel The Light.”

Included among the mostly previously unreleased 83 tracks making up Epoch are recordings from the earliest iterations of the group going back to November 1998. There are also recordings from their time in Wisconsin through their collective move to North Carolina in August 2005 and recordings made there before their August 2006 breakup. Along with the newly released tracks, also available is a remastered version of “Bones” from DeYarmond Edison’s 2005 album, Silent Signs, which is part of the Epoch box set. According to press materials:

At its core, Epoch is also a vast feat of vulnerability, and a testament to the magic that can happen when no one is looking. Many of the 83 recordings are being heard by others for the very first time, accompanied by dozens of previously unpublished photos from backyards and basements, and revelatory conversations with all four band members and numerous others who define the history of DeYarmond Edison. From their true headwaters in turn-of-the-century Wisconsin, to the 2005-2006 era of experimentation and eventual implosion in North Carolina, to the ensuing and celebrated solo careers, the collection fully traces the group’s complex evolution, as the past returns to haunt and heal.

That Was Then, the four-CD component of Epoch, unearths recordings from DeYarmond Edison’s Bickett Gallery residency in North Carolina, as well as a triumphant 2006 show at Wisconsin’s Mabel Tainter theater, where they turned songs like Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties” inside out. After that, the band folded and what immediately followed is documented on Epoch with hazeltons, Vernon’s solo precursor to Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago, and Where We Belong, which combines tapes from the very first Megafaun rehearsal, different DeYarmond Edison reunions, and buried treasures like a cappella covers of obscure folk tunes, and an unheard song Vernon co-wrote with his Raleigh heroes, Ticonderoga.

Compiled by Team JamBase.

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