Release Day Picks: May 12th New Album Highlights

By Team JamBase May 12, 2017 6:02 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 Zac Brown Band, Head for the Hills and Escaper. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Zac Brown Band – Welcome Home

The Scoop: The Zac Brown Band has returned to the southern-fried, country-heavy sound that initially brought them success on their latest studio album, Welcome Home. Frontman Zac Brown and his writing collaborators went inward to create songs with a personal touch for the 10-song collection. Brown and his crew enlisted Dave Cobb to produce the LP following Zac’s collaboration with Cobb for a song on last year’s Southern Family compilation. Watch the lyric video for “Roots”:

Label: Atlantic/Southern Ground

Producer: Dave Cobb

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 38:43

Guest Musicians: N/A


  1. Roots
  2. Real Thing
  3. Long Haul
  4. 2 Places At 1 Time
  5. Family Table
  6. My Old Man
  7. Start Over
  8. Your Majesty
  9. Trying To Drive
  10. All The Best

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Head For The Hills – Potions And Poisons

The Scoop: With bands like Greensky Bluegrass, the Infamous Stringdusters, Cabinet and Head For The Hills, the newer bluegrass bands in the jam scene are quietly becoming the strongest segment of the next generation of great acts. Each of these bands are quickly shifting from regional powerhouses to nationally known bands with bright futures. The latest release from Head For The Hills, Potions And Poisons – their fourth full-length – should elevate them from a household name in Colorado and the Northwest bluegrass circuit to the likes of Greensky and The ‘Dusters as mainstays on the national festival circuit. Potions & Poisons at its core is a song-oriented bluegrass album, but like the best bluegrass records, at its peak the instrumentation gives the listener that feeling of weightlessness where bouncing mandolin and guitars and soaring fiddles make you want to simplify everything and just go outside. Ironically, the first song I heard was “Suit & Tie” while schlepping around the construction-laden Toronto airport in a suit and tie, which provided for a good laugh about today’s corporate culture. Potions And Poisons works well like that: it’s a record that has a great balance of light, airy music combined with some heavier topical themes that adds pleasant perspective to the heavy cultural climate of today’s society. It gives listeners a way to escape, yet be present at the same time. Have a look at the promo video for “Potions And Poisons”:

Label: Self-Released

Producer: Head For The Hills, Aaron Youngberg

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 38:30

Guest Musicians: Bonnie Paine of Elephant Revival (vocals and washboard) and Erin Youngberg of Uncle Earl and FY5 (vocals)


  1. Afraid of the Dark
  2. Suit and Tie
  3. Give Me a Reason
  4. Floodwaters
  5. Potions and Poisons
  6. Bitter Black Coffee
  7. Waiting on You
  8. Telling Me Lies
  9. Kings and Cowards (feat. Bonnie Paine)
  10. Bucker
  11. Stream / Download / CD/LP

    Escaper – Skeleton Key

    The Scoop: Brooklyn-based space-jammers Escaper have today released their debut album, Skeleton Key, via Ropeadope. The band aimed to capture the energy and sense of exploration found in their live shows by tracking the LP live using all the audio technical advantages of the studio. Escaper co-produced the seven-track effort with John Davis, whose previous credits include Lettuce, Brad Mehldau and The Black Keys. While the group is relatively new, the members of the five-piece are veterans who have played with groups like Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Robert Randolph & The Family Band and The Breakneck Boys. Listen to the LP’s first single, “Castles”:

    Label: Ropeadope

    Producer: Escaper, John Davis

    Number Of Tracks: 7

    Running Time: 33:46

    Guest Musicians: N/A


    1. Skeleton Key (Part 1)
    2. Mutiny
    3. Lighthouse
    4. Nightcrawler
    5. Narwhal
    6. Skeleton Key (Part 2)
    7. Castles

    Stream / Download / CD/LP

    Compiled by Ryan Dembinsky and Scott Bernstein.

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