New Music Out Now: Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Fantastic Negrito, Sunny War, Shania Twain + Jarrod Dickenson
Don’t miss these new releases out today, Friday, February 3!
By Team JamBase Feb 3, 2023 • 6:22 am PST
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 Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, Fantastic Negrito, Sunny War, Shania Twain and Jarrod Dickenson. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams – Live At Levon’s!
Out today on venerable label Royal Potato Family is Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams‘s Live At Levon’s album. The 12-song set features highlights from a two-night run held at Levon Helm Studios in the couple’s hometown of Woodstock, New York on September 20 and 21, 2019. Both musicians were extremely comfortable at the legendary live music venue/recording studio founded by the late Levon Helm as they played the room countless times as members of Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band. Campbell and Williams were joined for the September 2019 performances by Jesse Murphy (bass, tuba, harmony vocals), Justin Guip (drums) and Brian Mitchell (keyboards, accordion, harmonica). Live At Levon’s! boasts a tracklist mixing previously unreleased new songs, longtime staples and choice covers.
“This thing that Teresa and I do, though born on the back porch in Tennessee, was honed for public consumption during the wonderful years we spent making music in Levon’s barn,” stated Larry Campbell regarding Levon Helm Studios. “There’s magic between those wooden walls, a comfortable environment where there’s no distance between performer and audience. Any event in there is a complete communal experience where there’s no hierarchy, no pressure or attempt at inhibition, just a great place to enjoy all the benefits of music making. When the idea came up for us to do a live record there was no question as to what the venue should be.”
Fantastic Negrito – Grandfather Courage
Fantastic Negrito — singer-songwriter Xavier Dphrepaulezz released Grandfather Courage, which is an acoustic reworking of his 2022 album White Jesus Black Problems. Fantastic Negrito prepped an acoustic rendition of “Oh Betty” after the song was nominated for the Best American Roots Performance Grammy Award. White Jesus Black Problems saw Dphrepaulezz tracing the history of his “white Scottish indentured servant grandmother Betty Gallimore who was living in a common law marriage with his seventh generation African-American enslaved grandfather, Grandfather Courage, in the face of the racist, separatist, laws of 1750s colonial Virginia,” as per a press release.
“The incredible story of my seventh-generation grandparents was so profound,” Dphrepaulezz said. “I reimagined it through the lenses of my touring band. Please check it out unplugged unapologetic reimagined.”
Sunny War – Anarchist Gospel
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Sunny War released a new LP today, Anarchist Gospel, arriving via New West Records. The 14-track set boasts 12 Sunny War originals plus 2 covers: Ween’s “Baby Bitch” and Van Hunt’s “Hopeless.” War also welcomed a number of guests on the new album including My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, Allison Russell, David Rawlings, Jack Lawrence of the Raconteurs, Micah Nelson, John James Tourville of The Deslondes, Kyshona Armstrong, Dennis Crouch, The School Zone Children’s Choir and more. As far as subject matter goes, Anarchist Gospel sees Sunny examining the internal conflict of human nature.
“I feel like there are two sides of me. One of them is very self-destructive, and the other is trying to work with that other half to keep things balanced. Everybody is a beast just trying their hardest to be good. That’s what it is to be human. You’re not really good or bad. You’re just trying to stay in the middle of those two things all the time, and you’re probably doing a shitty job of it. That’s ok, because we’re all just monsters.”
Shania Twain – Queen Of Me
Pop country superstar Shania Twain returns today with the release of her new studio album, Queen Of Me. The album is Twain’s first for Republic Records partner Republic Nashville after 29 years with Mercury Nashville. The long-awaited LP, her sixth original full-length album, follows 2017’s Now. The 57-year-old Twain released her debut album in 1993 and gained worldwide popularity upon the release of her sophomore album, 1995’s The Woman in Me. Speaking to The Sun about Queen Of Me, Twain stated:
“This album is very chirpy and I’m very frank with my lyrics on it, so it’s not a fluffy, lyrical album. It’s a happy album. I had a very productive songwriting pandemic period and as much as we were isolated, it was almost like I wanted to cheer myself up, and that just came out in the music. It’s so danceable.”
Jarrod Dickenson – BIG TALK
Singer-songwriter Jarrod Dickenson issued his latest studio album, BIG TALK, through Hooked Records. Dickenson, a Waco, Texas native now based in Nashville, recorded the 10-track BIG TALK in his current hometown at The Nashville Studio with engineer and frequent The Wood Brothers collaborator, Brook Sutton. Produced by Dickenson, the sessions included Ted Pecchio (Doyle Bramhall II, Tedeschi Trucks Band) on bass, JP Ruggieri on guitars and Claire Dickenson on backing vocals. The Wood Brothers’ Jano Rix also provided drums, percussion and keys throughout the album. Rix’s bandmate, Oliver Wood can also be heard on the album track “Home Again.” Additionally, acclaimed producer Ethan Johns composed the string arrangement for the song “Goodnight.” Press materials described the circumstances surrounding Dickenson’s third studio album:
After a major label deal-gone-bad threatened to choke off his career, COVID complications left him with a life-long medical condition and the Trump era sought to eviscerate the notion that America might still be that shining city on a hill, Dickenson would have been forgiven for retreating to his Nashville home to lick wounds and maybe write a collection of introspective self-pity anthems.
Instead, as he affirms on opening track “Buckle Under Pressure,” Dickenson has “come up swinging”. The hardships and infuriation of recent years have only added steel to the resolve of an artist already willing to do it the hard way, prepared to stand in the face of a music business that shows dwindling regard for the brand of artistry that first inspired him to pick up a guitar and sing for his life.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.