Today’s New Albums: Leon Bridges, David Crosby, Jackson Browne & More
This week’s Release Day Picks also feature Midnight North, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Brittany Howard, Darkside, The Brothers and Woods.
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 Leon Bridges, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Midnight North, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Darkside, Brittany Howard, The Brothers and Woods. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Leon Bridges – Gold-Diggers Sound
The Scoop: Gold-Diggers Sound, singer-songwriter Leon Bridges’ third full length album, takes its name from the Los Angeles facility where it was recorded. Bridges and Ricky Reed co-executive produced Gold-Diggers Sound, which Reed co-produced with Nate Mercereau. The 11-track LP features guest appearances by Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin and Ink. In statements shared by Bridges, he explained the scenario that led to the follow-up to 2018s Good Things, explaining:
[Gold-Diggers Sound] was birthed from late nights at the Los Angeles studio, hotel and bar of the same name where I lived, worked and drank over the course of two years. It was such a profound experience, I named the album in its honor. I walked into this complex two years ago and I’ve come out the other side an evolved person. I strove to reach new ideas and challenge myself alongside my fans …
I spent two years jamming in what often felt like a musician’s paradise. We effortlessly moved from the dance floor to the studio. We would be finishing our tequilas at 10:00 a.m. and waking up with coffee and getting to work at 10:00 p.m. It was all for the love of R&B and musicianship. This is my most sensual and confident album to date and I cannot wait to unleash it.
David Crosby – For Free
The Scoop: Legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist David Crosby released his album For Free today via BMG. Crosby tapped his son, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter James Raymond, to produce the follow-up to Crosby’s 2018 album Here If You Listen. Raymond also wrote For Free’s closing track “I Won’t Stay For Long,” which Croz called “my favorite song on the record,” in a press release. “I’ve listened to it 100 times now and it still reaches out and grabs me, it’s so painfully beautiful.”
For Free’s title track is a song by Crosby’s longtime friend Joni Mitchell. “Joni’s the greatest living singer/songwriter, and ‘For Free’ is one of her simplest,” Crosby said. “It’s one of my favorite songs because I love what it says about the spirit of music and what compels you to play.” David is joined by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz on vocals for his version of “For Free.”
The guest-filled album — which also includes contributions from previous Crosby collaborators saxophonist Steve Tavaglione and drummer Steve DiStanislao — features a song, “Rodriguez For A Night,” written by Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen solely for the album. “Steely Dan’s my favorite band, and I’ve admired Donald a long time,” Crosby added. “So that was a thrill for us.” Finally, the portrait of David on the cover of the album was created by another renowned musician, Joan Baez.
Jackson Browne – Downhill From Everywhere
The Scoop: Acclaimed singer-songwriter Jackson Browne returns with his first new album in six years, Downhill From Everywhere, which arrives today on his label Inside Recordings. The 72-year-old Browne, who also produced the album, brought together a core band made up of guitarists Greg Leisz (Eric Clapton, Bill Frisell) and Val McCallum (Lucinda Williams, Sheryl Crow), bassist Bob Glaub (Linda Ronstadt, CSNY, John Fogerty), keyboardist Jeff Young (Sting, Shawn Colvin) and drummer Mauricio Lewak (Sugarland, Melissa Etheridge) who recorded the follow-up to 2014’s Standing in the Breach. Others contributing to Downhill From Everywhere include Leslie Mendelson who provided vocals on “A Human Touch,” which she co-wrote with Browne and Steve McEwan, while “The Dreamer” is a bilingual collaboration with Eugene Rodriguez of Los Cenzontles. Browne took on social and environmential justice issues within the lyrics that appear accross the 10-track LP.
“Songwriting is a mysterious thing,” said Browne. “Sometimes it feels a bit like consulting the oracle … I see the writing on the wall. I know there’s only so much time left in my life. But I now have an amazing, beautiful grandson, and I feel more acutely than ever the responsibility to leave him a world that’s inhabitable … There’s a deep current of inclusion running through this record. I think that idea of inclusion, of opening yourself up to people who are different than you, that’s the fundamental basis for any kind of understanding in this world … I think racial and economic and environmental justice are at the root of all the other issues we’re facing right now. Dignity and justice are the bedrock of everything that matters to us in this life … As a songwriter, you want to catch people when they’re dreaming. You want to find a way into their psyche when they don’t see you coming.”
Midnight North – There’s Always A Story
The Scoop: Out today from Bay Area-based Americana act Midnight North is There’s Always A Story, a new 10-track studio album. The band — consisting of Grahame Lesh, Elliott Peck, Nathan Graham and Connor O’Sullivan — started work on their fourth studio album with producer David Simon-Baker at Allegiant Studios in California’s Marin Country just before the pandemic began. Midnight North was then forced to complete There’s Always A Story from band members’ respective home studios while quarantining.
“I’m so proud of the music we made on this record,” Grahame Lesh said. “We’ve been working so hard on this and can’t wait to show it off!” Midnight North tapped legendary audio engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson to master There’s Always A Story. Guests include Jason Crosby, Allison Russell, Marcus Machado, Dave Eggar, JT Nero and Scott Law as well as the Trey Anastasio Band horn section (Jennifer Hartswick, James Casey and Natalie Cressman).
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – 662
The Scoop: 22-year-old guitarist and singer-songwriter Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is back with his second album, 662, which came out today through Alligator Records. 662 is the area code for Ingram’s native Northern, Mississippi and the record is, “a presentation of my life in and away from the Delta,” said Ingram in a press release. 662 is the follow-up to Christone’s 2019 debut, Kingfish.
“The world was introduced to me with Kingfish,” Ingram continued. “Now with 662, I want the world to hear and meet a different, more personal side of me. My sophomore album is a direct reflection of my growth as a young man. This album is very personal to me as it was conceptualized, created and co-written during the Covid-19 pandemic when I returned home to the 662 after a truly whirlwind year of change and growth. Coming home to write this album offered a remarkable history for me to draw upon. 662 is an album that sits upon the legacy and influence my blues music elders have instilled in me, but is also my unique, personal story.”
The guitarist teamed back up with Kingfish producer Tom Hambridge to cut the 13-track album in Nashville. The guitarist heralded 662 in May with the title track, which premiered on SiriusXM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville channel.
Darkside – Spiral
The Scoop: Darkside — the Providence, Rhode Island-born duo consisting of Chilean electronic musician and vocalist Nicolás Jaar and American multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington — return with their highly anticipated second full-length album, Spiral, out today via Matador. Spiral is the follow-up to the duo’s critically acclaimed 2013 debut LP, Psychic. Jaar and Harrington recorded the lion’s share of Spiral at a rented house in Summer 2018 at the ancestral home of the Lenni-Lenape indigenous peoples, what is now Flemington, New Jersey.
“From the beginning, Darkside has been our jam band,” Jaar said of the collaborative project in a statement. “Something we did on days off. When we reconvened, it was because we really couldn’t wait to jam together again.” Dave Harrington added, “It felt like it was time again. We do things in this band that we would never do on our own. Darkside is the third being in the room that just kind of occurs when we make music together.”
Darkside would put down six of the album’s nine tracks in New Jersey and would finish the record in the subsequent year and a half with mixing by Rashad Becker and mastering from Heba Kadry. The duo previewed their long-awaited sophomore LP with the singles “Liberty Bell,” “The Limit” and “Lawmaker” and also conducted a listening party on YouTube yesterday.
Brittany Howard – Jaime Reimagined
The Scoop: Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard recruited an impressive roster of artists to record their own interpretations of all 13 tracks from her Grammy-winning 2019 debut solo album, Jaime. Bon Iver, Childish Gambino, Little Dragon, BadBadNotGood, EARTHGANG and Emily King are among contributors to Jaime Reimagined, which arrived today digitally through ATO Records with vinyl due September 24th.
“Making Jaime was so much fun for me because I was able to explore so many different genres of music,” said Howard. “There were no rules. This reimagination project has been no different. I have been honored to have so many incredible artists from all musical worlds interpret my songs in such interesting and different ways.”
The Brothers – The Brothers / March 10, 2020 / Madison Square Garden / New York, NY
The Scoop: On March 10, 2020, New York City’s Madison Square Garden hosted a celebration of The Allman Brothers Band’s 50th anniversary featuring members of the group and its musical family performing under The Brothers moniker. The Brothers / March 10, 2020 / Madison Square Garden / New York, NY, a live album and concert film documenting the concert, is out today via Peach Records in various formats including physical releases (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray) and digitally via nugs.net and the Amazon Prime streaming service CODA.
The show was among the last major events to be held before the pandemic led to a pause in live music. It also marked the first time numerous ABB alumni shared the stage since both the group’s final performance in 2014 and the deaths of co-founding members Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks in 2017. The Brothers’ lineup included co-founding drummer Jaimoe as well as longtime ABB members guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, bassist Oteil Burbridge and percussionist Marc Quinones. Plus, Widespread Panic’s Duane Trucks was the second drummer and Reese Wynans from pre-The Allman Brothers Band group the Second Coming played keyboards, while 1972 – 1976 ABB member Chuck Leavell served as special guest.
Woods – Strange To Explain [More Strange (Deluxe Edition)]
The Scoop: Woods added five bonus tracks to their 2020 album Strange To Explain for the release of the deluxe edition entitled More Strange. Out today on their Woodsist Records label, More Strange comes with the addition of new singles “Waiting Around For A New Me” and “Nickels & Dimes,” outtakes “Daylight Push” and “Sun Jammer,” and an alternate version of the Strange To Explain song “Be There Still.” The bonus tracks came from the same recordings made at Panoramic House in Stinson Beach, California that resulted in the original album. Those sessions occurred after Woods co-founders Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere experienced several major life events, including working with David Berman on the self-titled 2019 Purple Mountains album (Berman died by suicide just before they were about to embark on a tour), the birth of Earl’s first child and Taveniere’s move from New York to California.
“Those first few months or first year of having a newborn kind of put me in a dreamlike state,” Earl told NPR’s Weekend Edition. “Starting to write the record was an escape for me from my everyday reality and anxieties.”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.