Release Day Picks: April 21st New Album Highlights

By Andy Kahn Apr 21, 2017 5:18 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 Woods, Ray Davies, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Kitchen Dwellers, Manic Focus, The Black Angels and Big Star’s Third. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Woods – Love Is Love

The Scoop: “[A] document of protest in uncertain times and an open-hearted rejection of cynicism in favor of emotional honesty. It is bright, and then, unexpectedly, a little dark sometimes too,” is how Sam Hockley-Smith described Love Is Love in an essay shared with record’s announcement. Written in the wake of last November’s U.S. Presidential election, the six-track “distinctly New York record” quickly follows the 2016 release of Woods’ most recent studio LP City Sun Eater In The River Of Light. Check out the official lyric video for “Hit That Drum” below:

Label: Woodsist

Producer: Woods

Number Of Tracks: 6

Running Time: 31:31

Guest Musicians: Cole Kamen-Green (trumpet), Alec Spiegelman (sax, flute)


  1. Love Is Love
  2. Bleeding Blue
  3. Lost In a Crowd
  4. Spring Is In the Air
  5. Hit That Drum
  6. Love Is Love (Sun On Time)

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Ray Davies- Americana

The Scoop: For Ray Davies’ first album in 10 years, he used his recent book Americana as a launching off point for source material, a memoir which followed him and his younger brother on their wild-eyed nearly endless touring of the United States as part of the British Invasion. Three years after the book’s release, the eponymous musical complement arrives and Davies enlisted one of the finest Americana bands in the business to back him: The Jayhawks. What results is some of Ray Davies finest original music since the prime of The Kinks. The Jayhawks jangly style meshes perfectly with Davies’ signature country-Brit-pop song stylings. I wouldn’t necessarily call this an Americana album in the classic sense, but it’s Americana in a sweeter way. It’s an album about a foreigner yearning for his youth traversing this great country with all the fun and adventure that comes along with the open road of the United States. Have a listen to the title track off Americana:

Label: Sony Legacy

Producer: Ray Davies, Guy Massey, John Jackson

Number Of Tracks: 15

Running Time: 58:24

Guest Musicians: The Jayhawks


  1. Americana
  2. The Deal
  3. Poetry
  4. Message From The Road
  5. A Place In Your Heart
  6. The Mystery Room
  7. Silent Movie
  8. Rock ‘N’ Roll Cowboys
  9. Change For Change
  10. The Man Upstairs
  11. I’ve Heard That Beat Before
  12. A Long Drive Home To Tarzana
  13. The Great Highway
  14. The Invaders
  15. Wings Of Fantasy

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band – So It Is

The Scoop: For 50+ years the members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band have been ambassadors of traditional New Orleans-style jazz – a genre that is a proverbial gumbo of styles drawn from the city’s rich musical heritage. For the band’s latest release, So It Is the legendary act found inspiration from outside the confines of the Crescent City, more specifically from a trip they took to Cuba in 2015. Bandleader Ben Jaffe and Pres Hall’s 84 year-old saxophonist Charlie Gabriel composed seven original songs that connect the dots between the pulsing horn and percussion-driven sounds of Cuba and NOLA funk. Check out the single “Santiago”:

Label: Legacy Recordings

Producer: Ben Jaffe, Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio)

Number Of Tracks: 7

Running Time: 34:13

Guest Musicians: N/A


  1. So It Is
  2. Santiago
  3. Innocence
  4. La Malanga
  5. Convergence
  6. One Hundred Fires
  7. Mad

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Kitchen Dwellers – Ghost In The Bottle

The Scoop: Montana-based jamgrass act Kitchen Dwellers today unveil their sophomore studio effort, Ghost In The Bottle. The five-piece has shared the stage with many talented musicians since the release of their debut album in 2013 and recruited a handful of them to guest on the new LP. Little Feat’s Bill Payne, Mihali Savoulidis of Twiddle, Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone and Anders Beck of Greensky Bluegrass each contributed to the 11-track effort. Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon and A.G. Lunsford produced Ghost In The Bottle which was recorded at a pair of studios in Colorado. Listen to the single “Colder Nights” featuring Anders Beck:

Label: Self-Released

Producer: Andy Thorn, A.G. Lunsford

Number Of Tracks: 11

Running Time:61:14

Guest Musicians: Mihali Savoulidis, Anders Beck, Tim Carbone, Bill Payne


  1. This Time
  2. Ghost In The Bottle
  3. Guilty
  4. Buckle Down
  5. Mountain
  6. Colder Nights
  7. The Crown
  8. Ebeneezer’s Winter
  9. Five Candles
  10. Gypsy
  11. Visions Of Mohr

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Manic Focus – Minds Rising

The Scoop: Chicago-based producer/composer, John “JmaC” McCarten, aka Manic Focus, today issues his fifth studio album Minds Rising. McCarten recruited an impressive list of collaborators for the 12-track effort including Jennifer Hartswick, Eric “Jesus” Coomes, Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee. The long-in-the-making LP contains sample-free, 100% original compositions with horn arrangements from Russ Liquid and rowdy rhythm and vocal features from ProbCause. Listen to the single “Stronger” featuring Hartswick, Deitch and Late Night Radio:

Label: Manic Focus Music

Producer: John “Jmac” McCarten

Number Of Tracks: 12

Running Time: 45:07

Guest Musicians: Marvel Years, Chris Karns, ProbCause, Psalm One, Statik, Artifakts, Eric “Jesus” Coomes, Psymbionic, The MF’in Band, Russ Liquid, RapperChicks, Late Night Radio, Jennifer Hartswick, Adam Deitch, Carlile, Ryan Viser, Exmag, Borahm Lee, Russ Liquid


  1. Drop In (feat. Marvel Years & Chris Karns)
  2. Putting All Of My People On (feat. ProbCause)
  3. Joy in the Noise (feat. Psalm One)
  4. Stochastic Resonance (feat. Statik)
  5. Snap Like This (feat. Artifakts & Eric Jesus Coomes)
  6. Pushing (feat. Psymbionic)
  7. Rage Fits Perfect (feat. The MF’in Band)
  8. Habit (feat. Russ Liquid & the RapperChicks)
  9. Stronger (feat. Late Night Radio, Jennifer Hartswick & Adam Deitch)
  10. Timeless (feat. Carlile)
  11. Sowing My Zone (feat. Ryan Viser)
  12. Your X Now (feat. Exmag & Borahm Lee)

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The Black Angels – Death Song

The Scoop: It’s no coincidence that when combined with the title of their new album, The Black Angels Death Song immediately evokes The Velvet Underground, as the Austin-based band is in fact named after the song. While the five-piece band’s latest isn’t a tribute record to Lou Reed & Co. it does draw some influence from the seminal band’s darker brooding psychedelic compositions. Written mostly during last year’s election cycle, Death Song, is an acid-drenched protest record that serves as “emotional catharsis in a climate dominated by division, anxiety and unease.” Check out of the trippy visualizer video for “Half Believing”:

Label: PTKF

Producer: Phil Ek

Number Of Tracks: 11

Running Time: 48:44

Guest Musicians: N/A


  1. Currency
  2. I’d Kill For Her
  3. Half Believing
  4. Comanche Moon
  5. Hunt Me Down
  6. Grab As Much (As You Can)
  7. Estimate
  8. I Dreamt
  9. Medicine
  10. Death March
  11. Life Song

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Big Star’s Third – Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live … And More

The Scoop: This live release features a show held April 27, 2016 at the Alex Theatre at Glendale, California in which sole surviving original Big Star member Jody Stephens, along with Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of The Posies (also later members of Big Star), Mike Mills of R.E.M., Chris Stamey of The dB’s and Mitch Easter of Let’s Active performed songs from Big Star’s last album Third. The performance also saw renditions of tracks from the iconic pop group’s first two albums, #1 Record and Radio City. The all-star event being released as a live album and DVD showcased appearances by Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone of Wilco, Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo, Dan Wilson of Semisonic, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Robyn Hitchcock, Jessica Pratt, Brett Harris, Django Haskins, Skylar Gudasz and others including a full chamber orchestra led by Kronos Quartet. Watch “Kizza Me” featuring Tweedy and Haskins:

Label: Concord Bicycle Music

Number Of Tracks: 27

Running Time: 1:30:50

Guest Musicians: Jeff Tweedy, Pat Sansone, Ira Kaplan, Dan Wilson, Benmont Tench, Robyn Hitchcock, Jessica Pratt, Brett Harris, Django Haskins, Skylar Gudasz, Luther Russell, Kronos Quartet



  1. Watch the Sunrise (feat. Pat Sansone and Brett Harris)
  2. September Gurls (feat. Mike Mills)
  3. In the Street (feat. Brett Harris and Mike Mills)
  4. Back of a Car (feat. Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow)
  5. Thirteen (feat. Skylar Gudasz)
  6. Give Me Another Chance (feat. Dan Wilson)
  7. When My Baby’s Beside Me (feat. Jeff Tweedy)
  8. I’m In Love with a Girl (feat. Pat Sansone)
  9. Feel (feat. Ken Stringfellow)
  10. The Ballad of El Goodo (feat. Dan Wilson)
  11. I Am the Cosmos (feat. Chris Stamey)
  12. You and Your Sister (feat. Pat Sansone)
  13. Kizza Me (feat. Jeff Tweedy and Django Haskins)
  14. O Dana (feat. Jon Auer)
  15. For You (feat. Jody Stephens and Luther Russell)
  16. Nightime (feat. Jeff Tweedy)
  17. Jesus Christ (feat. Mike Mills)
  18. Take Care (feat. Ira Kaplan)
  19. Big Black Car (feat. Jessica Pratt and Jon Auer)
  20. Blue Moon (feat. Jody Stephens)
  21. Stroke It, Noel (feat. Ken Stringfellow)
  22. Downs (feat. Robyn Hitchcock)
  23. Dream Lover (feat. Skylar Gudasz and Ken Stringfellow)
  24. Holocaust (feat. Django Haskins)
  25. You Can’t Have Me (feat. Skylar Gudasz and Mike Mills)
  26. Kanga Roo (feat. Brett Harris)
  27. Thank You, Friends (ensemble)


  1. I’m In Love with a Girl (feat. Pat Sansone)
  2. Feel (feat. Ken Stringfellow)
  3. September Gurls (feat. Mike Mills)
  4. Thirteen (feat. Skylar Gudasz)
  5. The Ballad of El Goodo (feat. Dan Wilson)
  6. Watch the Sunrise (feat. Pat Sansone and Brett Harris)
  7. When My Baby’s Beside Me (feat. Jeff Tweedy)
  8. I Am the Cosmos (feat. Chris Stamey)
  9. In the Street (feat. Brett Harris and Mike Mills)
  10. Kizza Me (feat. Jeff Tweedy and Django Haskins)
  11. O Dana (feat. Jon Auer)
  12. For You (feat. Jody Stephens and Luther Russell)
  13. Nightime (feat. Jeff Tweedy)
  14. Jesus Christ (feat. Mike Mills)
  15. Take Care (feat. Ira Kaplan)
  16. Big Black Car (feat. Jessica Pratt and Jon Auer)
  17. Blue Moon (feat. Jody Stephens)
  18. Stroke It, Noel (feat. Ken Stringfellow)
  19. Downs (feat. Robyn Hitchcock)
  20. Dream Lover (feat. Skylar Gudasz and Ken Stringfellow)
  21. Holocaust (feat. Django Haskins)
  22. You Can’t Have Me (feat. Skylar Gudasz and Mike Mills)
  23. Kanga Roo (feat. Brett Harris)
  24. Give Me Another Chance (feat. Dan Wilson)
  25. Thank You, Friends (ensemble)
  26. Bonus Track: You and Your Sister (feat. Pat Sansone)

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Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Ryan Dembinsky, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.

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