Release Day Picks: November 16th 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 Mark Knopfler, Mumford & Sons, Ryley Walker, The Good, The Bad & The Queen, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Anderson .Paak, The Infamous Stringdusters and Smashing Pumpkins. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Mark Knopfler – Down The Road Wherever
The Scoop: Former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler has spent the last few decades focusing on his solo career. His latest studio album, Down The Road Wherever features 16 tracks and is out today via British Grove Records/Blue Note. Knopfler recorded the follow-up to 2015’s Tracker at his British Grove Studio in London with Guy Fletcher. The guitarist is backed by Jim Cox and Guy Fletcher on keyboards, Nigel Hitchcock on saxophone, Tom Walsh on trumpet, John McCusker on fiddle, Mike McGoldrick on whistle and flute, Glenn Worf on bass, Ian ‘Ianto’ Thomas on drums and Danny Cummings on percussion. Also contributing are guitarists Richard Bennett and Robbie McIntosh, trombonist Trevor Mires with Imelda May, Kris Drever, Lance Ellington, Beverley Skeete and Katie Kissoon all add backing vocals. “You get to an age where you’ve written quite a few songs. But Down The Road Wherever seems to be appropriate for me just because it’s what I’ve always done. I’ve always tried to make a record and also to keep my own geography happening in the songs,” Knopfler said of the personal subject matter discussed as part of the new album in a statement.
Mumford & Sons – Delta
The Scoop: Mumford & Sons’ new album Delta is their first of all-new material since 2015. The 14-track effort was recorded at The Church Studios in London with producer Paul Epworth and is being issued via Gentleman Of The Road/Glassnote Records. The British band’s latest fuses the folk-stomp stomp of their early albums with the arena-friendly rock of their most recent effort Wilder Mind arriving at something manages to move their sound forward, while still channeling their early folk and bluegrass-infused sound.
Ryley Walker – The Lillywhite Sessions
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Ryley Walker is not shy about his appreciation for the at times divisive Dave Matthews Band. The 28-year-old guitarist and his regular collaborators Andrew Scott Young and Ryan Jewell set out to document that affection for DMB by covering the seminal jam band’s unreleased studio album commonly referred to as The Lillywhite Sessions. Those eventually leaked DMB studio recordings are named after accomplished producer Steve Lillywhite, who was at the helm during the sessions held in 1999 and 2000. While some of the songs ended up on the 2002 album Busted Stuff, many remain never-officially-released by Matthews & Co. “It was a blast to really dig into those songs,” Ryley told The JamBase Podcast. “It was the most fun I’ve had – obviously the source material is there, the lyrics and the melodies are there. So we just kind of got to put our own little twist on them, and it was a blast.”
The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Merrie Land
The Scoop: Back in 2007, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Damon Albarn of Gorillaz, Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen, bassist Paul Simonon of The Clash, and The Verve guitarist Simon Tong came together to record and release the their self-titled debut album The Good, The Bad & The Queen. The once-unnamed supergroup worked with frequent David Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti to produce their long-awaited 11-track follow-up. Additional contributors to Merrie Land include Gareth Humphreys on bassoon, Kate St. John on oboe and cor aanglais, The Demon Strings (Isabelle Dunn on cello, Stella Page on viola, Antonia Pagulatos and Kotono Sato on violin) and The Sixteeen choir orchestra.
Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Betty’s Midwestern Magick Blends
The Scoop: The Chris Robinson Brotherhood once again teamed with famed recording engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson for their latest live release. Betty’s Midwestern Magick Blends captures the psychedelic rock act in action during three shows in October 2016. The triple-LP set collects highlights from the CRB’s October 14 show in Chicago, October 15 performance in Madison and October 16, 2016 concert in Milwaukee. The 12-track compilation features a mix of originals and covers featuring takes on The Rolling Stones’ “Down Home Girl” and “Let It Bleed” as well as a rare rendition of Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride.”
Anderson .Paak – Oxnard
The Scoop: Following the 2014 releae of Venice and its 2016 follow-up Malibu, Anderson .Paak celebrates another Califoria beach town with his latest nod to the city he grew up in, Oxnard. .Paak’s first album issued by Dr. Dre’s imprint Aftermath Entertaiment was executive produced by the acclaimed hip-pop producer and rapper. Dr. Dre also appears on a track, one of several on the 13-song LP to feature guests performances from the likes of Q-Tip, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, BJ The Chicago Kid, Kadhja Bonet, Norelle, Cocoa Sarai and The Last Artful, Dodgr.
The Infamous Stringdusters – Live From Telluride
The Scoop: Earlier this week, The Infamous Stringdusters surprised fans by revealing a new live album was on its way. Today, The ‘Dusters released Live From Telluride digitially via Tape Time Records. Live From Telluride was recorded in the scenic mountain town this past summer. The album features a mix of 20 career-spanning originals and covers. “[Telluride is] a place of deep inspiration because of the amazing surroundings, but also the amazing musical company. You feel it every time you step on stage there, and this show was no exception,” banjoist Chris Pandolfi said of Live From Telluride. “We knew pretty much right after the show that this was a show worth putting out there.”
Smashing Pumpkins – Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.
The Scoop: After 18 years, Smashing Pumpkins finally have a new studio album featuring Billy Corgan, James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin. While bassist D’arcy didn’t participate in the recording of their current tour, Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. is the first Pumpkins’ LP since 2000 to include three out of four original members. It all started with a session in L.A. to laid down demos. The Smashing Pumpkins then headed to producer Rick Rubin’s Shangri La Studios in Malibu with the intention of recording one song. Rublin liked what he heard and pushed the band to record a full album at his compound. Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. contains eight new songs and is out today via Napalm Records.
Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.