Release Day Picks: November 15th New Album Highlights


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 Blackberry Smoke, The Infamous Stringdusters, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, DJ Shadow and The Band. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Blackberry Smoke – Homecoming: Live In Atlanta

The Scoop: Blackberry Smoke are back with a live album, Homecoming: Live In Atlanta, documenting their November 2018 performance at the Tabernacle and accompanying a concert film of the same name. The show, dubbed “Brothers And Sisters Holiday Homecoming,” is part of Blackberry Smoke’s larger “Brothers And Sisters” concert program which has raised over $350,000 to benefit children’s cancer research. This and the hometown holiday aspect of the show make for a charged performance from the band. The set includes songs from throughout the rock band’s 15-year career including tunes from their latest full-length album, Find A Light, and its accompanying EP, The Southern Ground Sessions.


The Infamous Stringdusters – Live From Covington, Kentucky

The Scoop: On July 13, 2019, The Infamous Stringdusters brought their summer tour to Covington, Kentucky for an appearance at the Paradise Music & Beer Festival. Live From Covington, Kentucky, out today on the band’s Time Tape Records imprint, features an official recording of the quintet’s performance. “I remember walking off stage that night in Covington, Kentucky and everyone in the band feeling like everything connected,” guitarist Andy Falco told The Bluegrass Situation. “The crowd, the music, the band — all felt like one for the night, and so we decided right then and there to release this show.” Live From Covington, Kentucky features the Stringdusters’ typical mix of career-spanning originals including “Rise Sun,” “Planets” and “Let It Go” as well as choice covers such as Phish’s “Free” and “Walking On The Moon” by The Police.


Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – I Made A Place

The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Will Oldham’s new Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy album, I Made A Place, is out now on Drag City. The first Bonnie “Prince” Billy album of all-new originals since 2011 was inspired by the state of Hawaii and the songwriting of John Prine and Tom T. Hall. The album was recorded by Oldham with guitarists Nathan Salsburg and Joan Shelley and drummer Mike Hyman. “In recent years, the whole world of recorded music, in the way that such music is conceived, perceived, recorded, released and distributed, has been atomized,” Oldham stated. “I tried holding my breath, waiting for the storm to pass, but this storm is here to stay and its devastation is our new landscape. What else is a person to do except what he knows and feels, which for me is making records built out of songs intended for the intimate listening experiences of wonderful strangers who share something spiritually and musically? I started working on these songs thinking that there was no way I was going to finish them and record and release them. This was a constructive frame-of-mind that protected the songs until this frightening moment when we let go of them and give them to you.”


DJ Shadow – Our Pathetic Age

The Scoop: DJ Shadow returns with the double album Our Pathetic Age, out today on Mass Appeal. The 23-track, guest-filled follow-up to 2016’s The Mountain Will Fall is divided into two parts: an instrumental collection of tracks for the first time featuring full orchestration and a set of songs featuring vocal collaborators. Those who appear on the second half of the album include De La Soul, Nas, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Gift of Gab, Run the Jewels, Pharaohe Monch, Fantastic Negrito, Lateef The Truth Speaker, Infamous Taz, Wiki, Paul Banks, Stro, Dave East, Jumbo is Dr.ama, Rockwell Knuckles, Tef Poe, Daemon and Samuel T. Herring. “More than anything, I try to get a sense of the mood of society as a whole,” said DJ Shadwo. “The subtle signals that humans send each other, the way people behave, their frustrations and ebbs and flows. In my part of the world, people are scared. There’s rampant homelessness, and a real fear of falling into generational poverty. People are addicted to, and addled by distraction; they’re angry and confused, and disaffected by their own governmental institutions. There’s songs that are inspired by this energy and seek to harness it, to make sense of it. In some cases, there’s attempts to salve the wound; in others, the songs merely observe but don’t offer solutions. Despite the title, it’s a hopeful, vibrant album … there is always light in darkness. I want it to reflect the times we live in, a signpost in the ground to mark the era … Our Pathetic Age.”

The Band – The Band 50th Anniversary Edition

The Scoop: The Band’s self-titled 1969 sophomore studio album includes one song after another that are considered by many among the group’s best including “Across The Great Divide,” “Rag Mama Rag,” “The Night They Drove old Dixie Down,” “Up On Cripple Creek” and “King Harvest (Has Surely Come).” Capitol/UMe celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Band with three new versions of the record. Both the 2-LP vinyl and 2-CD deluxe edition contain a new stereo mix of The Band, while the CD installment also includes the previously unreleased complete The Band performance from Woodstock in 1969 and 13 bonus tracks. A super deluxe edition box set contains two CDs, a Blu-Ray, two vinyl LPs, a seven-inch vinyl single and hardcover book. The Band 50th Anniversary Edition is also available digitally with the bonus tracks, six of which were previously unreleased, as well as the Woodstock set.

Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.