Release Day Picks: September 22nd 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 Van Morrison, Leon Russell, Hiss Golden Messenger, Josh Ritter, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and a tribute to Leonard Cohen. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.


Van Morrison – Roll With The Punches

The Scoop: Today, the ever-prolific Van Morrison has unveiled his 37th studio album, Roll With The Punches. Van “The Man” selected five originals and 10 covers to record for his self-produced LP. Chris Farlowe, Georgie Fame, Jeff Beck, Paul Jones and Jason Rebello are among those who collaborated with Morrison on the 15-track effort. The North Irish vocalist focused on blues classics for the covers he selected including Bo Diddley’s “I Can Tell,” T. Bone Walter’s “Stormy Monday” and “Goin’ To Chicago” by Count Basie and Jimmy Rushing. Listen to Morrison’s rendition of the Sam Cooke classic “Bring It On Home To Me”:

Label: Caroline

Producer: Van Morrison

Number Of Tracks: 15

Running Time: 63:16

Guest Musicians: Chris Farlowe, Georgie Fame, Jeff Beck, Paul Jones & Jason Rebello

Tracklist:

  1. Roll With the Punches (Van Morrison & Don Black)
  2. Transformation (Van Morrison)
  3. I Can Tell (Bo Diddley & Samuel Bernard Smith)
  4. Stormy Monday/Lonely Avenue (Stormy Monday–T-Bone Walker/Lonely Avenue–Doc Pomus)
  5. Goin’ To Chicago (Count Basie & Jimmy Rushing)
  6. Fame (Van Morrison)
  7. Too Much Trouble (Van Morrison)
  8. Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke)
  9. Ordinary People (Van Morrison)
  10. How Far From God (Sister Rosetta Tharpe)
  11. Teardrops From My Eyes (Rudy Toombs)
  12. Automobile Blues (Lightnin’ Hopkins)
  13. Benediction (Mose Allison)
  14. Mean Old World (Little Walter)
  15. Ride On Josephine (Bo Diddley)

Download / CD/LP


Leon Russell – On A Distant Shore

The Scoop: Just 10 months after his death at the age of 74 comes the first posthumously released Leon Russell album On A Distant Shore. The 12-track effort features nine newly penned originals inspired by the Great American Songbook, alongside three reworked recordings of staples of Russell’s career, such as “A Song For You” which closes the album. Russell wrote and recorded the new LP in the months preceding his death. “All of [Russell’s] dreams happened – they came true,” said Leon’s widow, Jan Bridges. “And this record was his last dream. He said it was his favorite album he ever made. He just loved it. He felt like everything clicked into place.” Give a listen to “Love This Way” below:

Label: Palmetto Records

Producer: Mark Lambert

Number Of Tracks: 12

Running Time: 45:38

Guest Musicians: N/A

Tracklist:

  1. On a Distant Shore
  2. Love This Way
  3. Here Without You
  4. This Masquerade
  5. Black and Blue
  6. Just Leaves and Grass
  7. On the Waterfront
  8. Easy to Love
  9. Hummingbird
  10. The One I Love Is Wrong
  11. Where Do We Go from Here
  12. A Song for You

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Hiss Golden Messenger – Hallelujah Anyhow

The Scoop: M.C. Taylor the force behind Hiss Golden Messenger seems to have tapped a into a creative wellspring as he returns with his second album in less than a 12-month span. Recorded in just two days, the follow-up to last year’s Heart Like A Levee features Taylor’s singular brand of soulful Americana that combines gospel flairs with groove-based rock, introspective lyrics and deep-hearted vocals. Taylor had this to say about the 10-track effort, “This music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.” Check out the lyric video for “When The Walls Come Down”:

Label: Merge Records

Producer: M.C. Taylor, Brad Cook

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 36:12

Guest Musicians: Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, Scott Hirsch, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, John Paul White

Tracklist:

  1. Jenny of the Roses
  2. Lost Out Of Darkness
  3. Jaw
  4. Harder Rain
  5. I Am The Song
  6. Gulfport You’ve Been On My Mind
  7. John The Gun
  8. Domino (Time Will Tell)
  9. Caledonia, My Love
  10. When The Wall Comes Down

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Josh Ritter – Gathering

The Scoop: Acclaimed singer-songwriter Josh Ritter was so re-energized by working with Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir on Weir’s 2016 album Blue Mountain, he soon returned to the studio with a whole other batch of songs he wound up recording for his own album. Gathering features 13 varied originals Ritter laid down at the Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck, New York with his Royal City Band outfit. “I began with an exciting sense of dissatisfaction, and what emerged, as I began to find my voice, was a record full of storms. I still can’t tell what era these stories are from. They feel part roustabout, part psalm to me,” Ritter said of the songs onGathering. Josh called upon Weir for a duet on “When Will I Be Changed,” a beautiful tune that is one of the highlights of the LP. Check out the lyric video for “When Will I Be Changed”:

Label: Pytheas Recordings

Producer: Trina Shoemaker (Engineer)

Number Of Tracks: 13

Running Time: 50:38

Guest Musicians: Bob Weir

Tracklist:

  1. Shaker Love Song (Leah)
  2. Showboat
  3. Friendamine
  4. Feels Like Lightning
  5. When Will I Be Changed (feat. Bob Weir)
  6. Train Go By
  7. Dreams
  8. Myrna Loy
  9. Interlude
  10. Cry Softly
  11. Oh Lord (Part 3)
  12. Thunderbolt’s Goodnight
  13. Strangers

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers

The Scoop: The announcement for Luciferian Towers, the sixth studio album by Canadian post-rock outfit Godspeed You! Black Emerpor came with the following description, “this, this long-playing record, a thing we made in the midst of communal mess, raising dogs and children. eyes up and filled with dreadful joy – we aimed for wrong notes that explode, a quiet muttering amplified heavenward. we recorded it all in a burning motorboat.” Drummers Aidan Girt and Timothy Herzog, guitarists David Bryant and Michael Moya, bassists Mauro Pezzente and Thierry Amar and multi-instrumentalists Efrim Manuel Menuck and Sophie Trudeau recorded the follow-up to Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress with Greg Norman at the Montreal-based recording facility Thee Hotel2Tango. Check out the seven-minute “Undoing A Luciferian Towers” below:

Label: Constellation Records

Producer: Greg Norman

Number Of Tracks: 8

Running Time: 43:50

Guest Musicians: Bonnie Kane, Craig Pederson

Tracklist:

  1. Undoing a Luciferian Towers
  2. Bosses Hang, Pt. I
  3. Bosses Hang, Pt. II
  4. Bosses Hang, Pt. III
  5. Fam / Famine
  6. Anthem for No State, Pt. I
  7. Anthem for No State, Pt. II
  8. Anthem for No State, Pt. III

Stream / Download / CD/LP


Various Artists – Sincerely, L. Cohen: A Live Celebration Of Leonard Cohen

The Scoop: An eclectic and impressive group of musicians came together to honor the late Leonard Cohen in January, just over two months after his death, with a tribute concert at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg in New York City. Josh Kaufman fronted a house band featuring NYC-based musicians that backed the likes of Richard Thompson, Josh Ritter, Will Sheff, Amy Helm, Lee Ranaldo, Lenny Kaye, Elvis Perkins and Delicate Steve, among others over the course of the evening. Sincerely, L. Cohen: A Live Celebration Of Leonard Cohen collects 16 of the best performances from the concert. “Bird On A Wire,” “Is This What You Wanted,” “Hallelujah” and “Suzanne” are just a few of the Cohen gems interpreted at the tribute concert included on the live album. Listen to Delicate Steve’s rendition of “Hallelujah”:

Label: Royal Potato Family

Producer: Jesse Lauter, Hannah Gold, Josh Kaufman

Number Of Tracks: 79:17

Running Time: 16

Tracklist:

  1. Hallelujah- Delicate Steve
  2. Sisters of Mercy- Leslie Mendelson
  3. Diamonds In The Mine- Osei Essed
  4. I’m Your Man- Holly Miranda, Joan As Police Woman & Invisible Familiars
  5. Chelsea Hotel #2- Josh Ritter
  6. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye- Amy Helm
  7. Is This What You Wanted- Elvis Perkins
  8. Bird On The Wire- Richard Thompson
  9. Story Of Isaac- Richard Thompson
  10. Beautiful Losers- Lenny Kaye
  11. Memories- Ian O’Neil (Deer Tick)
  12. In My Secret Life- Cassandra Jenkins
  13. Ballad of The Absent Mare- Teddy Thompson
  14. Suzanne- Alana Amram
  15. Famous Blue Raincoat- Lee Ranaldo
  16. So Long, Marianne- Will Sheff & Friends

Stream / Download / CD/LP


Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.