Release Day Picks: March 29th 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 White Denim, Steve Earle and The Dukes, Tim Bluhm, Ty Segall, O.A.R., Frank Zappa and Marvin Gaye. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
White Denim – Side Effects
The Scoop: White Denim return with their second album in as many years, Side Effects. The nine-track LP was evisioned as companion piece to 2018’s Performance and was recorded over eight weeks mainly at the psychedelic rock act’s new studio in their hometown of Austin. The record features core White Denim members, guitarist James Petralli and bassist Steve Terebecki, alongside other contributors, including current touring members keyboardist Michael Hunter and drummer Greg Clifford. “Side Effects is built around [“Shanalala”] in some ways”, said Petralli, “I remained excited about ‘Shanalala’ so I wrote a few tunes that I thought would work with the mood and atmosphere of the track. Steve got a chuckle out of most of them and wrote great parts, then we staffed the sessions for the songs with musicians that we are inspired by. Then we dubbed and arranged the absolute shit out of them with our partner Jim Vollentine.”
Steve Earle And The Dukes – GUY
The Scoop: Steve Earle has reconvened with his longtime backing band The Duke for another tribute to one of his songwriting mentors and heroes. Earle previously honored Townes Van Zandt and this time around he looks to the songbook of Guy Clark. The 16-track collection was produced by Earle and features guest appearances from the likes of Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Terry Allen, Jerry Jeff Walker and Mickey Raphael. “I knew when Guy died that I’d have to make a record, because I don’t want to run into that motherfucker on the other side having made Townes’s record and not made his. I don’t even know whether I believe in that, you know, but I am not taking any chances,” Earle told The New Yorker about the New West Records release.
Tim Bluhm – Sorta Surviving
The Scoop: The Mother Hips’ frontman Tim Bluhm had a tough few years that included a divorce and near-fatal injury. Bluhm came through it all and focused his efforts on both The Hips and a new solo record out today entitled Sorta Surviving. Tim enlisted Dave Schools of Widespread Panic to produce an album focused on classic country music. He’s backed by Jesse Aycock and Jason Crosby as well as Nashville’s Gene Chrisman and David Roe on the 10-track Blue Rose Music Release. Bluhm & Co. recorded the LP at the famed Cash Cabin in Tennessee. “Recording in that space with those guys was like a dream come true for me,” said Bluhm. “The depth of knowledge they walk around with in their heads is amazing, and you know you can trust the musical choices they’re making.”
Ty Segall – Deforming Lobes
The Scoop: Guitarist Ty Segall showcases his impressive backing group The Freedom Band on the eight-song live album, Deforming Lobes. Released by Drag City, the record features Segall and his band made up of Mikal Cronin, Ben Boye, Emmett Kelly and Charles Moothart in action during a 2018 performance in Los Angeles at the Teragram Ballroom. The show was captured directly to two-inch analog tape via a mobile recording unit. Featuring songs from Segall’s albums Melted, Emotional Mugger, Twins, Manipulator, $ingle$ 2 and Ty Segall, Deforming Lobes was mixed by engineer Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio facility in Chicago.
O.A.R. – The Mighty
The Scoop: Maryland’s O.A.R. spent over a year working on a new 10-song set. The Mighty comes out today on Red Music. O.A.R. enlisted Gregg Wattenberg and PomPom to co-produce the LP. “You can’t call it The Mighty and not have it be great,” frontman Marc Roberge told Billboard. “To do that you have to take your time, and we had the benefit of bobbing and weaving in and out of the studio between tours and reflecting on song ideas and on chances we wanted to take without having to rush. I think that let us accomplish everything we wanted to.”
Frank Zappa – Zappa In New York
The Scoop: Legendary guitarist Frank Zappa led a stellar group of musicians for a four-show run at The Palladium in New York City in 1976 that was documented on 1978’s Zappa In New York. Out today via Zappa Records/UMe are a set of anniversary editions of the release. The big one is a five-disc set that contains more than three hours of previously unreleased material from the run as well as exclusive material from Frank’s vault. Frank’s son Ahmet Zappa co-produced the 40th anniversary versions of Zappa In New York with Vaultmesiter Joe Travers. “We are excited to bring you this new Deluxe version of Zappa in New York: an opportunity to re-examine and celebrate the source material of a great album while exploring the events of Frank’s life in late December 1976, Collections like these really show of the work ethic of a musical genius,” said the Zappa Family Trust, who oversaw the project, in the album notes.
Marvin Gaye – You’re The Man
The Scoop: Late legendary soul singer Marvin Gaye’s “lost” album You’re The Man has finally been released by Motown Records. Originally recorded by Gaye in 1972 as the planned follow-up to his acclaimed 1971 album What’s Going On, only the single “You’re The Man” was released at the time. Three of the 17 tracks on You’re The Man were newly remixed by SaLaAM ReMi. The record features the extended version of Gaye’s shelved holiday single “Christmas In The City” and a previously unreleased mix of its instrumental B-side. The archival release is part of Motown’s 60th anniversary celebration.
Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.