Today’s New Albums: Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Trombone Shorty & More

The Head And The Heart and Kitchen Dwellers have new albums out today, Friday, April 29.

By Andy Kahn Apr 29, 2022 6:15 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 Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Trombone Shorty, The Head and the Heart, Kitchen Dwellers and the soundtrack to the Take Me To The River: New Orleans documentary film. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Willie Nelson – A Beautiful Time

Outlaw country legend Willie Nelson today released his 72nd solo studio album entitled A Beautiful Time. The album’s arrival coincides with Nelson’s 89th birthday today. The 14-track LP contains five new original songs Nelson co-wrote with his longtime cohort, Buddy Cannon, who produced the record. A Beautiful Time features Nelson performing songs by Shawn Camp, Chris Stapleton, Jack Wesley Routh and others. The record also features covers of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends” and Leonard Cohen’s “Tower Of Song.” Nelson can be heard playing his vintage acoustic guitar Trigger, while backed on eight tracks by a core ensemble consisting of keyboardist Jim “Moose” Brown, harmonica player Mickey Raphael, drummer Fred Elringham, bassist Barry Bales and guitarists James Mitchell and Bob Terry. Additional contributors include vocalist Melonie Cannon, drummers Chad Cromwell and Lonnie Wilson, guitarist Bobby Terry, bassist Kevin “Swine” Grantt and keyboardist Catherine Marx.

Neil Young – Official Release Series Volume 4

Renowned singer-songwriter Neil Young focused on his 1980s output for Official Release Series Volume 4 (ORS Vol 4), a box set issued today on vinyl and CD via Reprise Records. The box set is part of Young’s ongoing “chronological re-releasing” of the 76-year-old musican’s official albums, “remastered where analog tapes exist.” ORS Vol 4 contains the country and folk-heavy 1980 LP Hawks & Doves, the rock-oriented 1981 album Re•ac•tor featuring Crazy Horse, 1988’s bluesy This Note’s For You and the Eldorado EP. Young teamed with The Restless consisting of bassist Rick Rosas and drummer Chad Cromwell for Eldorado. The five-song EP includes “Cocaine Eyes” and “Heavy Love,” two tracks unavailable on any prior Neil Young releases.

Purchase here.

Trombone Shorty – Lifted

A long five-year wait for a new Trombone Shorty studio album ends today. The New Orleans-based musician born Troy Andrews is back with Lifted, a 10-track LP out now on Blue Note Records. The renowned trombonist recorded the follow-up to 2017’s Parking Lot Symphony at his Buckjump Studio facility in NOLA with producer Chris Seefried (Fitz & The Tantrums, Andra Day). Gary Clark Jr., Lauren Daigle and New Breed Brass Band are among contributors to Lifted.

Trombone Shorty dedicated the LP to the memory of his mother, Lois Nelson Andrews. “She passed recently, but she continued to inspire me right up until she transitioned, and that’s why I put a picture of her holding me up at a second line on the cover of this album. She lifted me up my whole life,” explained the trombonist.

Shorty aimed to replicate the energy of his dynamic concerts in the studio. “I think Lifted is the closest we’ve ever gotten to bottling up the live show and putting it on a record,” Andrews added. “This time around I told everybody to really cut loose, to perform like they were onstage at a festival.”


The Head And The Heart – Album Title

The Head And The Heart’s new album Every Shade Of Blue arrived today, their first studio LP since 2019’s Living Mirage. The Seattle-based band worked with a number of renowned producers on the album with Grammy-winning engineer Jesse Shatkin (Sia, Pink, The Shins, Tegan and Sara) helming the lion’s share. Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Wet), as well as John Hill and Sammy Witte (Florence + The Machine, Portugal The Man, Cage The Elephant), also handled producing duties.

“Every Shade Of Blue conveys a spectrum of emotions and how we live with them,” the band shared about the new album. “The closer we get the more shades we see. The more shades we see the more responsibility we hold. We all want to feel loved and protected. The question is will we be supported and seen by the ones we love In Every Shade Of Blue.”

THATH previewed the record in January with the title track. The band followed with “Virginia (Wind In The Night)” and “Tiebreaker.”

Kitchen Dwellers – Wise River

Bozeman, Montana-based bluegrass outfit Kitchen Dwellers released their album Wise River today. The quartet — mandolinist Shawn Swain, banjoist Torrin Daniels, bassist Joe Funk and guitarist Max Davies — tapped Grammy-nominated guitarist and producer Cory Wong to helm the new LP, the follow up to the band’s 2019 studio album Muir Maid. On Wise River, Kitchen Dwellers tapped into the mythos of the American West and the record takes its title from a real river and town in the band’s home state of Montana.

“The town of Wise River is basically a forgotten spot on the map,” Swain noted. “It used to be a thriving place with many prosperous mines, but now it’s practically dried up. There’s a hell of a lot of melancholy. In our mind, it symbolizes the overall feeling of being in slowed-down Montana life.”

In Fall 2021, KD released Wise River track “Stand At Ease,” a benefit for the music industry mental health nonprofit Backline. The band followed with the title track and additional advance singles “Sundown” and “Smokestack.”

Various Artists – Take Me To The River: New Orleans

Petaluma Records released Take Me To The River: New Orleans, the compilation soundtrack for the documentary feature film of the same name. Directed by Martin Shore, Take Me To The River: New Orleans explores the rich musical history of the Crescent City, the influence of New Orleans as well as The Big Easy’s culture and heritage. Shore’s previous work includes the documentary film Take Me To The River that similarly studied the musical history of Memphis. The 26-track soundtrack features new recordings by Irma Thomas, Snoop Dogg, Ani DiFranco, Dumpstaphunk, Mannie Fresh, Big Freedia, Galactic, Dee-1, Soul Rebels, Williams Bell, Ledisi, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Anders Osborne, Donald Harrison, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, George Porter Jr., Eric Krasno among others. Included in the compilation are new recordings from The Neville Brothers’ final performances and music from one of the late Dr. John’s final studio sessions.


Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.

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