Release Day Picks: November 9th 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 Charles Bradley, J Mascis, The Revivalists, Donna The Buffalo, John Medeski’s Mad Skillet, Rhett Miller, Fleet Foxes and The Beatles. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Charles Bradley – Black Velvet
The Scoop: Black Velvet is the posthumous release from Charles Bradley, who passed away last year following a battle with cancer. Produced by Bradley’s longtime collaborator Tommy “TNT” Brenneck, the 10-song collection features unreleased tracks, covers and three brand new songs from The Screaming Eagle Of Soul. The album was culled from recording sessions from Bradley’s three studio efforts and includes covers of Neil Young’s “Heart Of Gold,” Rodriguez’s “Slip Away” and Nirvana’s “Stay Away.”
J Mascis – Elastic Days
The Scoop: Dinosaur Jr. guitarist J Mascis returns with his latest solo album Elastic Days. Mascis recorded the new LP at his Amherst, Massachusetts-based Bisquiteen Studios, which is where his previous solo albums, including 2014’s were made. Released by Sub Pop, Elastic Days mostly features Mascis’ singing and instrumentation, with Ken Miauri adding some keyboards and Pall Jenkins of Black Heart Procession, Mark Mulcahy of Miracle Legion and Zoë Randell of Luluc suppling extra vocals. “The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums,” said Mascis. “I’d just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don’t have too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than I’d originally planned. I just kept playing. [laughs] I’d play the acoustic guitar parts then head right to the drums.”
The Revivalists – Take Good Care
The Scoop: The long-awaited follow-up to The Revivalists’ breakthrough 2015 album Men Amongst Mountains is finally here. Take Good Care, the band’s Loma Vista Recordings debut is out today. Unlike past releases, the New Orleans rockers recorded and co-wrote the material on the 14-track effort with multiple producers and writers including Dave Cobb, Andrew Dawson and Dave Bassett. The Revivalists tracked their fourth studio album at sessions in New Orleans and in Nashville. “Everything going on these past few years certainly informed the direction,” frontman David Shaw said of Take Good Care. “I don’t know if I was ready for some of what transpired emotionally. I got personal on some of the songs. I said some things I might not have otherwise. Thankfully, I have a good family network and amazing girlfriend to balance all of the changes.”
Donna The Buffalo – Dance In The Street
The Scoop: Americana act Donna The Buffalo teamed with legendary producer/engineer Rob Fraboni to record their first new studio album in five years. Dance In The Street, the band’s eighth studio album, features 12 tracks. Co-founders Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins wrote songs of social commentary and self empowerment. “We feel the album provides an enjoyable ride between the general and the personal, from both male and female perspectives,” said Puryear of the material on the new LP. Donna The Buffalo recorded Dance In The Street with Fraboni — best known as the producer of The Last Waltz soundtrack — at Sonic Ranch Studio in El Paso, Texas. “We think of it as painting a picture and I like the picture that we’ve painted with this record,” Nevins added of an album that is a fully analog recording.
John Medeski’s Mad Skillet – John Medeski’s Mad Skillet
The Scoop: Keyboardist John Medeski recruited guitarist Will Bernard, drummer Terence Higgins and sousaphonist Kirk Joseph for a late-night show during the 2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The group performed together many times since and are marking their debut studio release the nine-track self-titled John Medeski’s Mad Skillet. The quartet recorded the album with producer and regular Medeski collaborator Scotty Hard at the Living Room recording studio which is located in a Depression-era church across the Mississippi River from New Orleasns. Issued by Medeski Martin & Wood’s Indirecto Records, the album comes with originals written by Medeski, Bernard and Joseph, collective improvisations and a cover of Sun Ra’s “The Golden Lady.”
Rhett Miller – The Messenger
The Scoop: For his seventh solo album, Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller spent five days recording with producer Sam Cohen at The Isokon facility in Woodstock, New York. Cohen plays a wide variety of instruments along with a rhythm section made up of bassist Brian Betancourt and drummer Ray Rizzo. Themes of suicide and depression from Miller’s adolescence are touched upon lyrically. “I wanted this record to be less safe,” Miller stated. “I wanted to put myself in the hands of a producer who was going to do things that I didn’t expect; I wanted to play with people I didn’t know and be surprised by what they came up with. And all of that really came to pass. That’s what you’re getting this record. You’re getting this locked-in rhythm section with a crazy, psychedelic guitar maestro playing along with me singing my songs about depression and insecurity.”
Fleet Foxes – First Collection 2006 – 2009
The Scoop: As a way of celebrating the 10th anniversary of their full-length debut album, Fleet Foxes dug into their archives to present First Collection 2006 – 2009. The limited-edition release includes a reissue of the Seattle band’s first album. Additionally, the box set includes a trio of EPs including the folk-rock act’s 2006 self-released The Fleet Foxes, 2008’s Sun Giant and one full of B-sides and rarities. Also included is a 32-page booklet featuring lyrics, past show flyers and other artwork from the time period.
The Beatles – The Beatles (50th Anniversary)
The Scoop: The Beatles are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their seminal self-titled double-album with a deluxe reissue. The set features the record’s original 30 tracks, newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo and in 5.1 surround audio, as well as an additional 27 early acoustic demos and 50 session outtakes, most of which have never been released. Some of the newly shared material includes John Lennon’s demo of “Jealous Guy” (presented as “Child Of Nature”), George Harrison’s “Sour Milk Sea” demo and Paul McCartney’s early recording of “Junk,” along with “Not Guilty” and “What’s The New Mary Jane?” outtakes.
Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.