Release Day Picks: September 18th 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 Trey Anastasio Band, Yusuf / Cat Stevens, Neil Young, Joan Osborne, Zach Gill and The Ries Brothers. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Trey Anastasio Band – Burn It Down
The Scoop: Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio was set to release a new Trey Anastasio Band live album in April. Anastasio put Burn It Down aside to focus on his “quarantine” album, Lonely Trip. Produced and mixed by Vance Powell, Burn It Down presents 15 tracks recorded live during TAB’s January 2020 tour, including Phish/TAB crossovers “Camel Walk,” “Sand,” “Set Your Soul Free,” “Undermind,” “Rise Come Together,” “Plasma,” “First Tube” and others, along with Ghosts Of The Forest’s “About To Run” and more Trey solo favorites. Anastasio shared this message about the live album:
Over the past few years there’s been an indescribable momentum with TAB. The band seems to get tighter with each successive tour. This past January, we were firing on all cylinders, and it was reflected in the faces of the people coming to the shows. I could feel it and see it every single night — the intensity of the dancing, the smiles on people’s faces, the feeling of unity.
So immediately after that tour, I put plans in motion to begin a TAB album in the spring. The pandemic changed those plans, and when everything was canceled, I began working at home on what would later become Lonely Trip.
Meanwhile, my friend Vance Powell, who produced this new TAB album, called and told me there was already enough great material on tape from the January tour to make the best TAB album ever, and make it a live album. So he started sending me mixes. I loved them. We both agreed that Burn It Down, a line from the song ‘Set Your Soul Free,’ was the perfect title, because it encapsulated exactly what had been happening onstage every night.
When I listen to this album, it reminds me how much I miss playing live music. In some ways, it’s hard for me to listen for that reason. I can’t wait to experience this again. I miss it so much.
Yusuf/Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman²
The Scoop: 2020 marks 50 years since the release of Yusuf/Cat Stevens iconic Tea For The Tillerman album. The famed singer-songwriter reimagined all 11 songs from the LP half a century later for Tea for the Tillerman², available today via UMe. Stevens was just 22-years-old when he wrote most of the material on the LP and now infused his experience and a fresh perspective into T4TT², which was recorded with Tea For The Tillerman producer Paul Samwell-Smith at La Fabrique Studios in France last summer. Yusuf recruited guitarist Alun Davies, who contributed to the original album, for the new LP along with bassist Bruce Lynch. Stevens shared the following about the experience:
Though my songwriting adventures were never limited to Tillerman, the songs on that album certainly defined me and pointed the way for my mysterious life’s journey. Since those originative sessions in Morgan Studios, Willesden, in 1970, Tillerman has grown and developed its own gravitas and influence on music history and as the soundtrack to so many people’s lives. Like it was destiny waiting to happen, T4TT² feels like the timing of its message has arrived again.
Neil Young – The Times
The Scoop: In July, Neil Young unveiled a “Porch Episode” of his Fireside Sessions livestream series. Young assembled audio of the seven songs he performed during the set as The Times, an Amazon Original EP. The politically-charged collection includes such beloved classics as “Ohio,” “Alabama” and “Southern Man.” Neil also covered Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin'” and revised “Lookin’ For A Leader” to address the current landscape. “Campaigner” and “Little Wing” round out the new EP. “I’m on Amazon Music because no one delivers better sound to the masses,” noted Neil of his decision to issue the EP through the streaming service.
Joan Osborne – Trouble And Strife
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Joan Osborne self-produced her 10th studio album, Troube And Strife, which is out today on her Womanly Hips record label. Backing Osborne on the album was a group she assembled made up of guitarists Nels Cline, Jack Petruzzell and Andrew Carillo, keyboardist Keith Cotton, drummer Aaron Comess and bassist Richard Hammond. Vocalists who accompany Osborne on Trouble And Strife include Catherine Russell, Ada Dyer, Martha Redbone and Audrey Martells. “For a lot of the record, we were going for a ‘70s AM radio vibe,” Osborne stated. The songs are Osborne’s “most political I’ve ever written,” reflecting, “the crazy, chaotic times we’re living in,” and, “a recognition of the important role music has to play in this moment. Music has a unique ability to re-energize people and allow us to continue to hang on to that sense of joy of being alive … I feel like music has this important job to do right now. Part of that job is to help imagine a better future – and to hang on to hope. I want to play for people and get them up on their feet and dancing. To let music do that thing it does – bring joy and energy because we really need that right now.”
Zach Gill – Cocktail Yoga
The Scoop: Multi-instrumentalist Zach Gill of ALO and Jack Johnson fame went the mostly instrumental route for a new solo album. Gill recorded Cocktail Yoga, out today via Brushfire/Republic Records, in his “Creativity Lounge” home studio while self-quarantining during the early days of the pandemic. He used the sessions as an escape from the stress of current events. “Cocktail Yoga is music for unwinding the mind, the body and the soul. It’s music meant for dreaming, for painting, for cooking and for crafting,” Gill said of the nine-track LP. “It might inspire you to stretch your hammys and roll your shoulders, or it might inspire you to make a hot toddy and curl up with a good book or call an old friend. It’s playful and seamless and doesn’t require anything from you. Inspired by composers like Esquivel, Martin Denny, and The Three Suns, Cocktail Yoga is fresh, yet rooted in an older, seemingly simpler time. It’s a portal out of the realms of opinion and decision and into the spaces between, where time is infinite and all endings are also beginnings.”
The Ries Brothers – Paint Your Emotion
The Scoop: Duo The Ries Brothers — consisting of siblings Charlie Ries and Kevin Jordan Ries — aimed to replicate the live sound honed over 1,000+ gigs nationwide on their sophomore studio album. The MegaForce Records release Paint Your Emotion includes nine songs written solely by the brothers as well as a collaboration with Iya Terra’s Joel Feinstein. John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Social Distortion) produced the follow-up to 2017’s The View From Outside. “Turning negative emotion into positive art is what Paint Your Emotion represents to me,” said Charlie Ries of the new album.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.