New Albums Out Now: Hiss Golden Messenger, Old Crow Medicine Show, Zach Bryan, Buck Meek & Turnpike Troubadours
Check out these new releases out today, Friday, August 25.
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 Hiss Golden Messenger, Old Crow Medicine Show, Zach Bryan, Buck Meek and Turnpike Troubadours. Read on for more insight into the records we have ready to spin.
Hiss Golden Messenger – Jump For Joy
Hiss Golden Messenger (singer-songwriter M.C. Taylor) released Jump For Joy, via Merge Records. Taylor wrote 14 songs for the follow-up to 2021’s Quietly Blowing It that are described in press materials as “the sharpest and most autobiographical that [he] has written under the Hiss name.” The guitarist embodied a character Taylor created named Michael Crow, a teenaged dreamer ready to tackle the world. Taylor assembled his live band — guitarist Chris Boerner, bassist Alex Bingham, keyboardist Sam Fribush and drummer Nick Falk — at the famed Sonic Ranch studio in Tornillo, Texas to record Jump For Joy over two weeks late last fall. Taylor produced the album with longtime collaborator Scott Hirsch handling engineering duties. Regarding the album, Taylor stated:
“The tunes on Jump For Joy were composed in free moments throughout 2022, a year during which Hiss was on the road more or less constantly. And perhaps because the post-pandemic energy out in the world felt so chaotic and uncertain, I found myself thinking a lot about the role that music has played in my life and how exactly I ended up in the rarefied position of leading a band and crew all over the globe through dingy graffiti-scrawled green rooms, venerated music halls, dust-blown roadside motels. Sometimes playing in front of 5,000; sometimes 200. Sleeping sitting up. Laughing because my stomach hurts. Not being able to fall asleep at 3 a.m. in some anonymous bed because my mind is spinning with anxiety of depression or adrenaline, or because my ears are still ringing. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, then robbing Paul to pay Peter back. Over and over again. It’s an outlaw life but one, I’m coming to realize, that makes me happy.”
Old Crow Medicine Show – Jubilee
Out today from Old Crow Medicine Show on ATO Records is eighth studio album Jubilee. The string band tracked the 12-song collection at their own Hartland Studios facility. Described as “somewhat of a companion piece” to 2022’s Paint This Town, the LP includes guest appearances by Mavis Staples, Sierra Ferrell and former member/co-founder Willie Watson. Old Crow Medicine Show co-produced Jubilee with Matt Ross-Spang. Bandleader Ketch Secor injected the lyrics with references to current events and shared the following about the group’s knack for imbuing a timely vitality into traditional music:
“Being the type of songwriters and performers that we’ve always been, we tend toward the topical material and what’s going on right now—the issues currently faced by our species, our country, our beloved Southlands. So as long as these things keep happening in our world, and as long as banjos are around to be plucked and fiddles are there for us to drag a bow across, you can bet we’ll still be interested in making this kind of music. At this point it’s just our second nature.”
Zach Bryan – Zach Bryan
Fittingly, country singer-songwriter Zach Bryan wrote and self-produced his highly anticipated self-titled album, which was issued today through Warner Records. The 16-track effort follows his acclaimed 2022 album, American Heartbreak. The 27-year-old Oklahoma native and Navy veteran, Bryan recruited several special guests to appear on the new record, including The Lumineers on “Spotless,” Kacey Musgraves on “I Remember Everything,” Sierra Ferrell on “Holy Roller” and The War and Treaty on “Hey Driver.” Regarding the album, Bryan stated:
“I’ve got no grand explanation for these songs, I got no riddle in reasoning behind writing them, I don’t have a bullshit roll-out plan to stuff it in front of as many people as I can. I just wrote some poems and songs that I want to share because I think they’re special. Some of them are heavy, some of them are hopeful, but more than anything what’s most important to me is that they’re all mine. If people listen to it, I’ll be grateful, if people don’t, I’ll still be grateful because I got the chance in this life to be original when it mattered.
“I’d like to say that I do not take any of this for granted. As some kid with a guitar from Okla, I am so grateful for each person that cares enough. My life has been a journey of ups and downs, and I want to thank the people who have kept the course with me while never backing down to anyone or anything no matter the day.
“Most of our lives are indifferent stints of time and if we’re lucky, we get small moments of joy, of sadness, of love, of hope, and of music. The music business has good and bad, but I’m in the business of writing the experience’s of mine and others. All I pray is that someone out there relates enough to not feel alone. I wrote and produced an album that I would want to listen to. I self-titled it because I hear every cell of my being in it. Some of it’s slow and low, some of it’s reckless, some of it’s loud, some of it’s quiet, but it’s all me at 27. I put everything I could in it and I am at a loss for words at what a blessing this life is.”
Buck Meek – Haunted Mountain
Big Thief’s Buck Meek released his third solo album, Haunted Mountain, today — his debut on new label 4AD Records. Meek recorded the follow up to his 2021 solo effort, Two Saviors, at the renowned Sonic Ranch in Tornillo in his home state of Texas. Longtime Buck Meek band members guitarist Adam Brisbin, drummer Austin Vaughn and pedal steel guitarist Mat Davidson, with the latter also handling production duties, contributed to the album alongside Buck’s brother Dylan Meek on keyboards and bassist Ken Woodward. Meek previewed Haunted Mountain with the title track, a co-write with his “friend and longtime hero” singer-songwriter Jolie Holland.
“Haunted Mountain is about love and… something other,” a press release for the album noted. “Something bigger than love, something that doesn’t challenge love exactly but stands in contrast to it. A soulfulness, or a soul-seeking fullness. Meek says that love songs are the hardest to write. ‘Not break-up songs, but an actual love song written in earnest? That is taboo now,’ he [said]. ‘Sometimes it can feel like all the great love songs have already been written.’”
Turnpike Troubadours – A Cat In The Rain
Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based Americana outfit Turnpike Troubadours released their sixth studio album A Cat In The Rain, which follows a hiatus that began in 2019. A Cat In The Rain is the first album from frontman Evan Felker, fiddler Kyle Nix, steel guitarist Hank Early, guitarist Ryan Engleman, bassist RC Edwards and drummer Gabe Pearson since 2017’s A Long Way From Your Heart. A Cat In The Rain includes the group’s covers of the Jerry Jeff Walker-popularized “Won’t You Give Me One More Chance” and Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ “Black Sky.” The “Red Dirt music” outfit’s 10-song album was recorded with producer Shooter Jennings at FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Additional recording was done in Los Angeles as well.
“Shooter is one of the most music knowledgeable people I’ve ever met,” Felker stated. “He loves every type of music and he knows what a good song is in any genre or style. It’s almost as natural as playing with the guys that I’ve known forever. We walked in and became very good friends in a very short amount of time. It was extremely comfortable working with him and somebody you can trust to know what’s going to be a good call and what you should step away from.”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.