Today’s New Albums: Kurt Vile, Edgar Winter, Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini + More
Pimps Of Joytime and Flock Of Dimes also have new releases out today, Friday, April 15.
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 Kurt Vile, Edgar Winter, Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini, Pimps of Joytime and Flock Of Dimes. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Kurt Vile – (watch my moves)
Philadelphia guitarist Kurt Vile makes his major label debut with today’s release of his new full length album, (watch my moves), via Verve Records. The bulk of the 15-track LP was recorded at Vile’s newly contructed home studio, OKV Central, which he built with the assistance of Adam Langellotti.
“When Waylon Jennings became an outlaw country artist, he liked to record at Hillbilly Central, which was Tompall Glaser’s studio,” Vile stated. “OKV Central is my version of that in Mount Airy. I’ve come into my own here, and at the same time I’m getting back to my home-recording roots … I’ve always been trying to get back to that place of recording in the comfort of my own zone, and now I’m finally set up to do that in HIFI.”
Additional recording of (watch my moves) was done with Vile’s regular collaborator Rob Schnapf at his Mant Sounds studio in Los Angeles. A pre-pandemic session with Vile’s band The Violators yielded the tracks “Cool Water” and a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Wages Of Sin.” Vile revisited Mant in the summer 2021 and recorded “Chazzy Don’t Mind” with members of the band Chastity Belt. Additional personnel featured on the follow-up to 2018’s Bottle It In include singer-songwriter Cate LeBon (piano/vocals) and Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa on “Jesus On A Wire,” Hot Chip drummer Sarah Jones on “Flyin (like a fast train)” and “Hey Like A Child,” and Sun Ra Arkestra tenor saxophonist James Stewart on “Goin’ On A Plane Today” and “Like Exploding Stones.”
Edgar Winter – Brother Johnny
Veteran musician Edgar Winter recruited an impressive cast of musicians to contribute to Brother Johnny, an all-star tribute album in honor of his late brother Johnny Winter, who died in 2014 at age 70. The backing tracks were laid down at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. Guest parts were tracked at St. Louis’ Infinitespin Records and, as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified, at the guest artists’ home studios. Edgar Winter and Ross Hogarth produced Brother Johnny, with Hogarth mixing it at his studio The Boogie Motel. Joining the 75-year-old Edgar Winter across the album’s 17 tracks were Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Ringo Starr, Billy Gibbons, Joe Walsh, Joe Bonamassa, Keb’ Mo’, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Waddy Wachtel, Doyle Bramhall II, Steve Lukather, Michael McDonald, Robben Ford, John McFee, David Grissom, Doug Rappoport, Bobby Rush, Phil X and Gregg Bissonette. Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who tragically passed away last month, also appears on the album. Edgar Winter wrote about the experience of working with Hawkins, writing in part:
I had the honor and privilege of working with [Hawkins] as one of the guest artists on my forthcoming but yet to be released tribute album Brother Johnny. He did an incredible lead vocal on a song written by Johnny and featuring the phenomenal guitarist in my own band, Doug Rappoport. It stands out in my mind as the highest energy and hardest rocking song on the entire album. I have always considered it stylistically the most uncharacteristically advanced song Johnny ever wrote, almost a precursor of heavy metal.
Because of this unusual quality we wanted a younger, more energetic, modern approach to the vocal. Our engineer, mixer, and producer (Ross Hogarth) had worked extensively with Taylor and they were very close friends. When Ross suggested Taylor (being such a huge Foo Fighters fan) I said WOW—how perfect. and I know Doug will be absolutely thrilled.
I had only just met Taylor, and barely got to know him, but I was so impressed by his sincerity, positive energy, and pure enthusiasm. He had a unique spontaneous style different from anyone I’ve ever worked with before. I can be very opinionated—but as soon as heard what he was doing, I knew it was best to step back, stay out of the way, and let him do his thing. That session was an experience I will never forget.
When I tried to open a business discussion, he simply would not hear of it. He said—I don’t want ANYTHING for doing this, I just want’a get out there and Rock. And Rock HE DID! I don’t know if it was out of respect for Johnny, a desire to help me in what I was doing, compassion for the nature of the project, or his friendship with Ross. Most probably all these things—but whatever it was, he gave it His ALL!
I listened to it last night, and couldn’t help but cry … The name of the song is “Guess I’ll Go Away”. Now, both Johnny and Taylor have gone away no one can know, but which we all one day must travel. Although I know Johnny has departed this world, I still think of and speak to him every day, and will now see Taylor’s face along side his. Wherever that way may lead, I wish them Peace and Love on the journey, knowing I will join them soon—as we all will someday. Taylor, Monique and I both thank you with all our hearts.
Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini – Auburn Whisper
Trombonist Natalie Cressman and guitarist Ian Faquini today unveiled their new studio album, Auburn Whisper, via GroundUP Music. The 13-track follow-up to 2019’s Setting Rays Of Summer was written and recorded in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic. Cressman and Faquini used all the time afforded to them due to the pause in live music to track the LP during weekly recording sessions held at the Bay Area home studio of Natalie’s father, Jeff Cressman.
Auburn Whisper sees Natalie evolve as a composer by adding multiple layers of trombone to each song while the LP also features Faquini’s first song singing in English. “It was really collaborative and was kind of a blessing in disguise to have all that time to reflect and take whatever time the music needed to take it to completion,” Cressman explained on The JamBase Podcast. “Ian and I say all the time how it would have taken us years to write this record if we hadn’t been totally paused from touring. It was making lemonade out of what we had.”
Pimps Of Joytime – Reachin’ Up
Pimps Of Joytime return with Reachin’ Up, the Brooklyn-based band’s first studio album since 2017’s Third Wall Chronicles. Frontman Brian J handled the lion’s share of the production duties for the new LP along with most of the instrumentation. Brian J enlisted the help of a number of contributors on Reachin’ Up including newly minted member Carol C of Si*Sé along with New Mastersounds bassist Pete Shand. Brian also welcomed back some longtime PJT collaborators in Marcus Farrar of Antibalas and Chauncey Yearwood. Pimps Of Joytime previewed the album with a trio of singles beginning with “Lesson” last fall. The band followed with “Are You Gonna?” in February and the title track last month.
“The process of making this album started in 2019,” Brian noted. “I was on a bit of a break from Pimps of Joytime and just began laying some grooves and chord progressions down. By the time Covid hit, I had some solid sketches in place, and with my newly found free-time, I dug-in on refining those recordings. I am very excited for this album to get out there into the world! A spirit of love and exaltation was my guiding influence throughout the creative process, and it is my hope that folks will come away with that feeling after listening.”
Flock Of Dimes – Head Of Roses: Phantom Limb
Head Of Roses: Phantom Limb is a companion to the 2021 Flock Of Dimes (Jenn Wasner) album Head Of Roses. Issued today via Sub Pop Records, it features “unreleased tracks written around the same time as Head Of Roses, previously unheard demos, favorite live performances, and covers.” Wasner compiled 14 tracks for the companion LP, which contains a demo of the Head Of Roses song “Lightning” as well as live versions of fellow album tracks “Hard Way” (recorded live for KEXP), “Two,” “Price of Blue,” “Awake for the Sunrise” and “One More Hour” (recorded with Mountain Man, Matt McCaughan, Joe Westerlund, Michael Libramento, Alan Good Parker and Nick Sanborn at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, North Carolina). They appear alongside previously-unreleased Head Of Roses outtakes, “Wonder,” “Go with Good,” and “It Just Goes On.” Also part of the collection are solo grand piano versions of “Spring in Winter” and “Like So Much Desire,” from the 2020 EP Like So Much Desire, as well as covers of Joan Armatrading’s “The Weakness In Me” and Joni Mitchell’s “Amelia.”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.