Release Day Picks: June 7th 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 releases by Santana, Neil Young and the Grateful Dead. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Santana – Africa Speaks

The Scoop: Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana worked with fellow legend Rick Rubin at the producer’s Shangri La Studios in Malibu to create the new Sananta album, Africa Speaks. Spanish vocalist Buika appears throughout the album that was recorded over 10 days by an eight-piece Santana lineup featuring Carlos’ wife, drummer Cindy Blackman Santana. Carlos Santana shared a statement regarding the inspiration behind the album, writing:

This is music that I hold so dearly, and it’s not a stranger to me. The rhythms, grooves and melodies from Africa have always inspired me. It’s in my DNA. If you take your inspiration from many, it’s called research. I researched this beautiful music from the African continent. They have a frequency that’s all their own. It’s funny, because when I play in Africa, people say, “How do you know our music?” And I say, “How can I not know what I love?”

Neil Young – Tuscaloosa

The Scoop: Veteran rocker Neil Young collected highlights from his February 5, 1973, concert at the University Of Alabama in Tuscaloosa for his latest archival release, Tuscaloosa. The concert saw Young backed by The Stray Gators, comprised of Ben Keith on pedal steel and vocals, Jack Nitzsche on keyboards, Tim Drummond on bass and drummer Kenny Buttrey, and was recorded between the release of Young’s albums Harvest and Tonight’s The Night. The Tuscaloosa tracklist appropriately contains “Alabama” (possibly played live for the first time in its namesake state), one of five Harvest songs in the set. There are also live takes from Young’s 1969 self-titled debut album and 1970’s After The Goldrush. Only two songs on Tuscaloosa were part of Young’s 1973 live album, Time Fades Away, which was recorded during the same tour with The Stray Gators that made this stop in Alabama.

Grateful Dead – Aoxomoxoa (50th Anniversary Edition)

The Scoop: Continuing their 50th anniversary celebrations marking the release of their studio albums, the Grateful Dead today add to the reissue collection their LP, Aoxomoxoa. The deluxe reissue presents two fully remastered versions of the Dead’s third studio album: the original 1969 mix and “the definitive” band-produced re-mix from 1971. Also part of the collection is a set of unreleased live music from the Dead’s January 24 – 26, 1969 run at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, remastered by Jeffrey Norman from the original live recordings, which were among the first recorded to 16-track tape. The lineup of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Phil Lesh, Tom Constanten, Mickey Hart and Bill Kruetzmann can be heard performing early versions of Aoxomoxoa tracks such as “Dupree’s Diamond Blues” and “Doin’ That Rag,” as well as the final live version of “Clementine” and more.