Release Day Picks: April 27th New Album Highlights

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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, Dr. Dog, Okkervil River, Nolatet, Janelle Monae and Pat Ferguson. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.


Willie Nelson – Last Man Standing

The Scoop: Outlaw country legend and national treasure Willie Nelson turns 85 on Sunday. The beloved performer almost one year ago to the day issued the LP God’s Problem Child. Once again teaming with producer Buddy Cannon, the pair co-wrote the 11 new originals making up what’s been described as “one of [Nelson’s] most personal and introspective albums to-date.” Nelson longtime collaborator, harmonica player Mickey Raphael contributed to the new record, as did vocalist/fiddler Alison Krauss. Here’s the video for the title track single, “Last Man Standing”:

Label: Sony Legacy

Producer: Buddy Cannon

Number Of Tracks: 11

Running Time: 33:36

Guest Musicians: Alison Krauss, Mickey Raphael

Tracklist:

  1. Last Man Standing
  2. Don’t Tell Noah
  3. Bad Breath
  4. Me & You
  5. Something You Get Through
  6. Ready To Roar
  7. Heaven Is Closed
  8. I Ain’t Got Nothin
  9. She Made My Day
  10. I’ll Try To Do Better Next Time
  11. Very Far To Crawl

Stream / Download / CD/LP


Dr. Dog – Critical Equation

The Scoop: At this point in their career you kind of know what you’re going to get with a new Dr. Dog record, and that’s not a bad thing. The Philadelphia-based band have been the consistently doling out album after album of instantly likable psychedelic pop-rock since the early-2000s. The five-piece band’s latest Critical Equation finds them stepping a little bit out of their comfort zone, decamping to Los Angeles and looking to a new producer for the first time in quite awhile by bringing in Gus Seyffert (Beck, Michael Kiwanuka). The 10-track record finds them continuing to grow their sonic palette while still delivering their signature blend of gorgeous Beach Boys-inspired harmonies and emotive songwriting. Give a listen to “Heart Killer”:

Label: We Buy Gold Records/Thirty Tigers

Producer: Gus Seyffert

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 40:19

Guest Musicians: N/A

Tracklist:

  1. Listening In
  2. Go Out Fighting
  3. Buzzing In The Light
  4. Virginia Please
  5. Critical Equation
  6. True Love
  7. Heart Killer
  8. Night
  9. Under The Wheels
  10. Coming Out Of The Darkness

Stream / Download / CD/LP


Okkervil River – In The Rainbow Rain

The Scoop: Back in 2016 Okkervil River front man Will Sheff hit the reset button on his longtime band, recruiting a whole new set of musicians to record the LP Away. Inspired by their tour behind that release, Sheff reconvened with his touring band to record a collection of songs that he wrote in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. Rather than dwelling on the negative, Sheff instead decided to make “something fun, that makes people feel happier.” The result is the 10-track effort In The Rainbow Rain which Sheff is hailing as “something akin to a modern secular gospel record.” Check out the music video for “Don’t Move Back To L.A.”:

Label: ATO Records

Producer: Will Sheff

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 48:47

Guest Musicians: Brittany Anjou, Simone Appleby, Leslie Gardner, Jeremy Gustin, Cole Kamen-Green, Chris Kyle, Frank LoCrasto, Joe McGinty, Jonathan Meiburg, Rob Moose, Clinton Newman, Phil Palazzolo, Patrick Pestorius, Jared Samuel, Alec Spiegelman, Saundra Williams

Tracklist:

  1. Famous Tracheotomies
  2. The Dream And The Light
  3. Love Somebody
  4. Family Song
  5. Pulled Up The Ribbon
  6. Don’t Move Back To L.A.
  7. Shelter Song
  8. How Is It
  9. External Actor
  10. Human Being Song

Stream / Download / CD/LP


Nolatet – No Revenge Necessary

The Scoop: Supergroup Nolatet was too good a project to be kept to a one-off. Nolatet features drummer Johnny Vidacovich, bassist James Singleton, percussionist/vibraphonist Mike Dillon and pianist Brian Haas. Today the ensemble releases No Revenge Necessary, their sophomore studio album. No Revenge Necessary picks up where 2016’s Dogs left off with an adventurous twist on the traditional New Orleans sound. “For me the over-riding theme moving forward is forgiveness,” Singleton said. “Hopefully, the strength of the music can serve as a reminder of the possibility of growth and healing through forgiving.” Watch Nolatet’s in-studio video for “Bluebelly”:

Label: Royal Potato Family

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 45:29

Guest Musicians: N/A

Tracklist:

  1. Lanky, Stanky Maestro
  2. Homer and Debbie
  3. Black Sheep
  4. No Revenge Necessary
  5. Elegant Miss J
  6. Dikefinger
  7. Gracemont
  8. Bluebelly
  9. Pecos Wilderness
  10. Malabar

Stream / Download / CD/LP


Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer

The Scoop: The third full length release by R&B/soul singer Janelle Monáe follows up her acclaimed 2013 album The Electric Lady. The multi-talented musician and actress issued a companion 44-minute short film Dirty Computer: An Emotion Picture By Janelle Monáe to go along with the record’s 14 tracks. Monáe revealed Prince collaborated on the album prior to his untimely death two years ago. The Purple One helped create the single “Make Me Feel” which you can check out below:

Label: Wondaland/Bad Boy/Atlantic Records

Producer: Janelle Monae, Nate Wonder, Chuck Lightning, Roman GianArthur, Nana Kwabena, Jon Brion, Mr Hudson, Wynne Bennett, Mattman & Robin Pharrell Williams, Organized Noize, Jon Webb Jr.

Number Of Tracks: 14

Running Time: 48:42

Guest Musicians: Prince, Brian Wilson, Zoë Kravitz, Grimes, Pharrell Williams

Tracklist:

  1. 1Dirty Computer (feat. Brian Wilson)
  2. Crazy, Classic, Life
  3. Take A Byte
  4. Jane’s Dream
  5. Screwed (feat. Zoë Kravitz)
  6. Django Jane
  7. Pynk (feat. Grimes)
  8. Make Me Feel
  9. I Got The Juice (feat. Pharrell Williams)
  10. I Like That
  11. Don’t Judge Me
  12. Stevie’s Dream
  13. So Afraid
  14. Americans

Stream / Download / CD/LP


Pat Ferguson – Light Of Day / Dark Of Night

The Scoop: Wisconsin-based singer/songwriter Pat Ferguson first drew attention as a founding member and lead guitarist for Midwest favorites The Smokin’ Bandits. Ferguson has gone it alone to release Light Of Day/Dark Of Night, his first full-length solo effort. Adam Greuel of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades produced the eight-track LP, which features a vast array of guests including Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Jake Jolliff of Yonder Mountain String Band and Chad Staehly of Hard Working Americans. “When you’re in your darkest time, you long for the light. That’s a given,” Ferguson said of the LP. “But at your peak, to have the ability to recognize your weaknesses and appreciate that everything can change in a split second…that’s something I’ve always wrestled with. It took toward the end of this recording process for me to realize that this story really was not about the division between joy and pain. It’s about a collective experience that has made me who I am today.” Stream the track “Fuel The Tide”:

Label: LoHi Records

Producer: Adam Greuel

Number Of Tracks: 8

Running Time: 43:39

Guest Musicians: Jake Jolliff, Kyle Keegan, Kenny Leiser, Chad Staehly, Sarah Vos, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. Howl
  3. The Night (The Temptress
  4. From Me To You
  5. Part II
  6. Fuel The Tide
  7. Blind
  8. I Won’t Forget You

Stream / Download / CD/LP


Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.