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Bonnie Prince Billy'
Best TroubadorWith Best Troubador, Bonnie 'Prince Billy pays homage to a long-time and forever hero, the late Merle Haggard. A singer who, some 25 years previously, first performed in public by playing a Merle song, Bonny has often cited his work in performance, on records and in conversation with anyone who was around, even talking to Merle himself for Filter magazine in 2009.
Merle's body of work was considered by Bonnie for a record such as this for some time, but his passing in April of 2016 almost put a stop to it. The goal was to participate in the handing forward of the songs of a living legend, as Merle had done so many times in his own career. With Merle gone, some of the impetus for the project was in peril. A plan to make the album in Nashville studios was abandoned. The songs still called to be played again, however - and so sessions were endeavored at home, capturing feeling, memory and new expression in familiar confines with the full-hearted playing and singing of the Bonafide United Musicians: Van Campbell, Nuala Kennedy, Danny Kiley, Drew Miller, Cheyenne Mize and Chris Rodahoffer, with special guests Mary Feiock, Emmett Kelly, A.J. Roach and Matt Sweeney.
The songs sung on Best Troubador are pulled from all over - from Haggard's third album in 1967 though to his 47th in 2011 - but this is no simple hits compilation. Capable only of occupying a shared space between himself and Merle Haggard, Bonny chose personal favorites to find Merle and himself together in the music. Moving from 1978 to 1969 to 2003 to 1981 and so on allows the album to circle Haggard's music in a simulation of thought and memory, slipping around from spot to spot as if they were discrete impressions, unknown but knowable yet. Dedicated to new life and old, Best Troubadour is wistful and bittersweet, for the triumph of a life spent in unending pursuit of the goal: new and expressive music, as our inspirations and heroes once sang it.LP 1
1. The Fugitive
2. I'm Always On a Mountain When I Fall
3. The Day the Rains Came
4. Haggard (Like I've Never Been Before)
5. I Always Get Lucky With You
7. My Old Pal
8. Roses In the Winter
1. Some Of Us Fly
2. Wouldn't That Be Something
4. That's the Way Love Goes
5. Nobody's Darling
6. What I Hate (excerpt)
7. I Am What I Am
8. If I Could Only Fly$27.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Pond ScumThere are no Peel sessions anymore - that tradition was buried in the pyramids with John Peel himself upon the great man's passing. Of the thousands left in the wake, six are ascribed to Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - and of those six, three have been combined to form the deeply congruous experience of Pond Scum. A span of eight years is covered, in reverse, and many chestnuts are rolled out, freed of former contexts with sparse arrangements. (I Was Drunk at the) Pulpit feels, ten years from inception, more vividly worn; Death to Everyone is loosed from its frame, the bones decoupled and spread out, giving the song a reective air (as opposed the biting declamation of the original); Arise, Therefore adapts its metronomic base, the evangelic twist of its roots made palpable. With the center of the performance in stark relief, the gnomic qualities of two Get On Jolly pieces are intensied. Further accenting the devoted spirit of this collection is the inclusion of Bonnie's take on Prince's The Cross, as well as the previously-unreleased original Beezle.
Bonnie's lone shadow casts over this lot, accompanied on the rst four tracks by David Heumann, but otherwise playing solo through a set of original songs (and two covers) representing a decade of progress in the almost unbearably intimate-yet-unknowable manner that was so often the vibe of those strange and wondrous days. Layers peel to reveal the subtle artistry and refinement contained within these sessions, so begin to dig deep into the vault!1. (I was Drunk at the) Pulpit
2. Death to Everyone
3. Arise, Therefore
4. Jolly Five
6. Jolly One
7. When Thy Song Flows Through Me
8. The Houseboat (O How I Enjoy the Light)
9. Trudy Dies
10. The Cross
11. Stable Will
12. The Idol on the Bar$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
More ReveryA quiet tribute to some great songwriters, with a style that tips its hat to the original and then makes the song all its own.
In the year 2000 - shortly after releasing what would become his most iconic album, I See A Darkness - Will Oldham aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy retreated to his family's farmhouse with the majority that I See A Darkness lineup in tow to record a half dozen covers of some of Oldham's favorite songs. The track listing is, as expected, inspired and eclectic: John Phillips, PJ Harvey, Bill Withers, The Renderers, John Holt, and Tim McGraw. Bonny Billy's renditions are equally inspired and eclectic, ranging from slow-burning uneasiness to uncharacteristic jubilance.
Originally released exclusively on limited edition CD in the pre-MP3 era, More Revery was gone before iTunes existed, and has not been available in any format since. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Temporary Residence Ltd., we are honored to reissue this essential piece of the Bonny Billy canon - now expanded to include rare live versions of the entire album!1. Someone's Sleeping
2. Sweeter Than Anything
3. Same Love That Made Me Laugh
4. A Dream of the Sea
5. Strange Things
6. Just To See You Smile
7. Someone's Sleeping (Live)
8. Sweeter Than Anything (Live)
9. Same Love That Made Me Laugh (Live)
10. A Dream of the Sea (Live)
11. Strange Things (Live)
12. Just To See You Smile (Live)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Jesu / Sun Kil MoonMark Kozelek and Justin Broadrick will release their debut collaboration, Jesu/Sun Kil Moon, through Caldo Verde Records. The album also features guests Will Oldham aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy, members of Low, Rachel Goswell of Slowdive and Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse.LP 1
1. Good Morning My Love
3. A Song of Shadows
4. Last Night I Rocked the Room Like Elvis and Had Them Laughing Like Richard Pryor
6. Father's Day
1. America's Most Wanted Mark Kozelek and John Dillinger
4. Beautiful You$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Lily-OLily-O, a new album of reimagined folk songs by Vermont-born singer/fiddler/banjoist/guitarist Sam Amidon will be released by Nonesuch Records. The album was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Feist) and features the innovative jazz guitarist and composer Bill Frisell, along with Amidon's other frequent collaborators, bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Chris Vatalaro.
Frisell has been a hero of Amidon's since the young Vermont native first heard the guitarist play at the Village Vanguard during a teenage visit to New York City. The two musicians stayed in touch and had their first live collaboration in 2011; not long after, Amidon began contemplating a return to Iceland to make a third album at Sigurðsson's Greenhouse Studios. He eventually invited Frisell to join him and Sigurðsson, along with Ismaily and Vatalaro, to record what became Lily-O.
"I decided to put us all in a room together in Reykjavik for a few days," Amidon said. "I knew if I got Bill together with those guys they would get into a deep situation. I imagined that we would do something weird and fiddle-based, but when we got in there it just felt great to sing the songs I had gathered. Recording took about four days. I'd teach them the basic structure of the song; we'd do a few takes, and move on to a new one. There's maybe one or two overdubs but otherwise you're hearing what we played."
Lily-O's ten songs are mostly traditional folk songs gathered from disparate sources and refashioned in Amidon's signature way. The interplay between the four musicians is informed by their backgrounds in improvised music and the spontaneous nature of the sessions. As always, the central element is Amidon's voice, which, in his deceptively understated manner, tells tales of adventure, love, violence and redemption.
Lily-O follows four albums by Amidon including his 2013 Nonesuch debut, Bright Sunny South. 2010's I See The Sign and 2008's All Is Well were made for the Icelandic label Bedroom Community and featured orchestral arrangements by composer Nico Muhly. Along the way Amidon has performed worldwide in myriad contexts, collaborating with musicians such as Muhly, Thomas Bartlett/Doveman, Beth Orton and Glen Hansard. He has appeared as a guest artist on recent albums by Tune-Yards, Aoife O'Donovan and the Blind Boys of Alabama.1. Walkin' Boss
2. Down The Line
3. Blue Mountains
4. Pat Do This, Pat Do That
6. Groundhog Variations
7. Won't Turn Back
8. Maid Lamenting
9. Your Lone Journey
10. Devotion$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$13.99 $10.49 Save $3.50 (25%)
Retina (On Sale)Sweden's exhilarating duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums announce the first of two limited-edition (1,000 worldwide) 12 vinyl-only EP's. The 5 songs recorded in a church feature the Schola Cantorum Reykjavik Chamber Choir, who were also featured on Bjork's Medulla album. These amazing new songs were recorded by Ben Frost and mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson (CocoRosie, Bonnie Prince Billy).1. Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood
2. Tiny Holes In This World
3. Under Land and Over Sea
4. Fight For Me
5. Peeling Off the Layers$13.99 $10.49 Save $3.50 (25%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$13.99 $10.49 Save $3.50 (25%)
Iris (On Sale)Swedens exhilarating duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums announce the second of two limited-edition (1,600 worldwide) 12 vinyl-only EPs. Th e 5 songs on Iris feature vocals, drums and steel drum. Th ese amazing new songs were recorded by Ben Frost and mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson (CocoRosie, Bonnie Prince Billy).1. The wave
2. The drop
3. The course
4. The lake
5. The well$13.99 $10.49 Save $3.50 (25%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I'll Be The TornadoI'll Be The Tornado is the follow-up to the duo's highly acclaimed 2013 Pretty Good EP and marks a decidedly more diverse approach to songwriting for
the band. Recorded by Neil Strauch (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, IRON & WINE, OWEN) at MinBal Studio in Chicago and mastered by Carl Saff (DINOSAUR JR.,
GUIDED BY VOICES, SPEEDY ORTIZ.)1. Grand Edge, MI
2. Chewing Ghosts
3. The Romantic Ocean
4. Fake Knees
5. Sold Year
7. You Hold Back
9. Sunburnt Jet Wings
10. Take Back Today
11. Only You$13.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The CoincidentalistThe Arizona desert has been a predominant theme
and source of inspiration for Howe Gelb, indie rock
pioneer and founder of the band Giant Sand. Since
1985, Gelb, based in Tucson, AZ has brought the spirit of the southwest and high art to his DIY recordings.
Gelb's newest recording, The Coincidentalist, is his first album for his new label, New West Records. Recorded with M. Ward and Steve Shelley (of Sonic Youth), Gelb brings together a set of songs that seem linked, like a novel but effortless stand on their own. The record also features guest contributions from Bonnie Prince Billy and KT Tunstall.1. Vortexas
2. Left Of Center
3. Running Behind
4. The 3 Deaths Of Lucky
6. The Coincidentalist
8. Picacho Peak
9. An Extended Plane Of Existence
10. Looking That Way
11. Instigated Chimes$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$24.99 $18.74 Save $6.25 (25%)
Hard Drugs (On Sale)Hard Drugs is an indie rock opera that tells a twisted love story by putting emphasis on the songs themselves rather than an elaborate stage production. The final product is a 13-song double LP showcasing an orchestral mix of roots, rock, punk, savvy percussion and heartbreaking harmonies conceived by Jeffry Lee and executed with help from a cache of his talented friends. Collaborators include members of Blood Meridian, Black Mountain, Lightning Dust, Pink Mountaintops, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Limb Lifter, Bughouse, Bend Sinister, Fan Death, The Mohawk Lodge and Bison, among many others.$24.99 $18.74 Save $6.25 (25%)Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
HeartlandThe third Final Fantasy full-length and the first for Domino, Heartland is the product of nine months work in four separate countries. The release is a fully orchestral record, designed to exist simultaneously as an album, a 45-minute piece of orchestral music and a set of songs for looped violin and voice. Work began in earnest in November of 2008, when Owen Pallett and Arcade Fire drummer Jeremy Gara flew to Reykjavik to work at The Greenhouse, Valgeir Siggurdsson's studio (Bjork's Medulla, Bonnie Prince Billy's The Letting Go) with engineer Mio ??rrison at the board. The orchestra was recorded in January of 2009, in Prague, with the Czech Symphony. Other guests include Matt Smith (Nifty), Reg Vermue (Gentleman Reg) and Nico Muhly. Rusty Santos, who produced Animal Collective's Sung Tongs and mixed Panda Bear's Person Pitch, was taken on as mixer.1. Midnight Directives
2. Keep The Dog Quiet
3. Mount Alpentine
4. Red Sun No. 5
5. Lewis Takes Action
6. The Great Elsewhere
7. Oh Heartland, Up Yours!
8. Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
9. Flare Gun
10. E Is For Estranged
11. Tryst With Mephistopheles
12. What Do You Think Will Happen Now?$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Pull It TogetherPull It Together is Shannon Stephens' third album. Vulnerability has been replaced with a fierce confidence born of experience. Stephens sings out now with a voice free of youthful self-consciousness, filled instead with conviction, and no small amount of anger at the state of the world. She has always distilled powerful emotions into her music but this time the emotional dial is cranked.
From the sweetly swaggering "What Love Looks Like" to the searing "Your Fabulous Friends," she balances cynicism with generous quantities of warmth, humor and empathy. Never is this fine balance more apparent than on "Faces Like Ours" where Bonnie Prince Billy (Will Oldham) weaves his voice with hers in a duet that wryly dissects the injustice of racial and economic privilege.
The result of this new approach is an album that is gritty, fluid, and more accessible than her previous work. Call it pragmatic pop, optimism balanced with the sharp-edged reality of life in 2012.1. Wax and Feathers
2. Care of You
3. What Love Looks Like
5. Cold November
6. Out of Sight
7. Faces Like Ours
8. Your Fabulous Friends
9. Down the Drain and it's Gone
10. Buddy up to the Bully
11. Responsible Too Long$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Tell 'Em I'm Gone
First Album In Five Years From The 2014 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee
10 Brand-New Recordings, Including 5 New Compositions By Yusuf
Features Collaborations With Rick Rubin, Richard Thompson, Charlie Musselwhite, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Tinariwen, And Matt Sweeney
Tell 'Em I'm Gone is the first new Yusuf album since 2009's
acclaimed Roadsinger. Recorded all over the world,
including Los Angeles, Dubai, Brussels, and London, the
album features 10 brand-new studio recordings, including five
originals and five carefully-chosen cover songs. Tell 'Em I'm
Gone features musical contributions from Richard Thompson,
blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite, singer-songwriter
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Tuareg group Tinariwen, and guitarist
Matt Sweeney, as well as production from Rick Rubin.
Each track on Tell 'Em I'm Gone is threaded together by the
themes of freedom and peace that have prevailed through more
than four decades of Yusuf's musical career. On this album,
Yusuf returns to the roots of his musical inspiration: American
blues and R&B, using these genres to explore the universality
of the desire for freedom with songs that recall the spirit of his
earliest days as a nascent singer-songwriter in London.
"What's powerful and profound, to me, is the overall message
which emerged, lyrically," Yusuf says of the new album.
"It suddenly stared me in the face: the struggle for Freedom!
My God, isn't that what most human beings dream of?
"I hope this record will help revive the spirit of Freedom
and re-kindle some of the excitement of those amazing days,
when every musical door seemed to point us a way out of our
imprisonment," Yusuf says.
Stunning originals like "I Was Raised In Babylon" and "Cat And
The Dog Trap" plus covers of blues-pop standards ("Big Boss
Man," "You Are My Sunshine") and a moving version of Edgar
Winter's "Dying To Live" find Yusuf as strong of voice and as
engaging a performer as ever before.
Having first found fame as a teenage folk singer in 1960s
England, Cat Stevens gained worldwide acclaim for his
intimate and affecting works in the 1970s. His compositions
"Wild World," "Peace Train," "Father and Son" and "Morning
Has Broken" remain staples of the folk genre. Following a
conversion to the Islamic faith in 1978, Stevens retired from
the music business to pursue important causes in the
Muslim community; 2006 saw Yusuf's celebrated return to pop
music with the album An Other Cup.1. I Was Raised In Babylon (Yusuf)
2. Big Boss Man (Luther Dixon-Al Smith)
3. Dying To Live (Edgar Winter)
4. You Are My Sunshine (Jimmie Davis-Charles Mitchell, arr. Yusuf)
5. Editing Floor Blues (Yusuf)
6. Cat And The Dog Trap (Yusuf)
7. Gold Digger (Yusuf)
8. The Devil Came From Kansas (Gary Brooker-Keith Reid)
9. Tell 'Em I'm Gone (originally "Take This Hammer," arr. Yusuf)
10. Doors (Yusuf)$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
GoJonsi has spent more than a decade writing epic compositions with Sigur Ros, creating some of the finest, most acclaimed albums of the last ten years. The choice to make an album of solo recordings came together as a solution to a backlog of songs Jonsi had written that didn't seem to fit within the Sigur Ros context. Go is a different beast entirely. Ecstatic, dramatic and alive, it features Jonsi's signature vocals throughout, with the majority of the songs sung in English.
Not a straight ahead pop record, nor rock, folk, ambient or electronic, it encompasses all of these to create an expansive musical palette that's been brought to life by Jonsi alongside a number of free-spirited collaborators. Chief among these is Nico Muhly, the Philip Glass protege who is renowned for his work with Bjork, Antony & The Johnsons, Bonnie Prince Billy and Grizzly Bear. Also in the mix is the percussive genius of Samuli Kosminen, whose original drumming powers many of the songs along so you have a sonic landscape that bears little relation to anything else around today, yet explodes from the speakers with sheer happiness and wonder, wide-eyed and eager to be heard. The album was recorded in Iceland and Connecticut, was co-produced by Jonsi, Alex Somers and Peter Katis (The National, Interpol) and was mixed by Tom Elmhirst in London.1. Go do
2. Animal Arithmetic
4. Boy Lilikoi
5. Sinking Friendships
7. Around Us
8. Grow Till Tall
9. Hengilas$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$20.99 $15.74 Save $5.25 (25%)
Better Days (Discontinued) (On Sale)MICKEY NEWBURY was a songwriters songwriter at the dawning of the era of the singer-songwriter, yet he was also an unknown name on the Billboard charts. Mickey Newbury found early writing success in Nashville, enabling him to pave the way for his friends and contemporaries like Kris Kristofferson, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and David Allen Coe. Even to this day, Newbury continues to influence the most championed songwriters. His songs have been recorded nearly 1400 times by more than 1000 performers including Johnny Cash, Scott Walker, Ray Charles, Joan Baez, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, the Box Tops, Bonnie Prince Billy and Nick Cave. He is the only songwriter ever to have number one hits (with different songs) in the pop, country, R&B and easy listening charts within the space of one year (and three of those songs were in the charts simultaneously!). But Mickey Newbury himself was by far the best interpreter of his own songs.
Better Days collects MICKEY NEWBURY demo material, alternate versions of several favorites, and a radio session. Listeners will hear a crisp and clean version of Mickeys astonishing songwriting, singing and playing; refreshing to the ears after a swim through the powerfully concentrated sounds he created in the Cinderella garage.1. If You Want Me To I'll Go
3. Sad Satin Rhyme
4. Why You Been Gone So Long
5. I Don't Wanna Rock
6. Let Me Stay Awhile
7. Flower Man
8. Good Morning Dear
9. On Top Of Old Smokey
10. Interlude: How Many Times...
11. Better Days
12. How I Love Them Old Songs
13. I Don't Wanna Rock
14. I Don't Want Me No Big City Woman
15. You're Not My Same Sweet Baby
$20.99 $15.74 Save $5.25 (25%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Live From York MinsterLaura Marling was still studying for her A-levels when she released her debut single at the start of 2007. She completed her debut album by the end of that year. Raised in a musical household, Marling was playing guitar and writing songs from an early age at the prompting of her folk music loving father. Laura's own musical favourites included artists such as Bonnie Prince Billy and Nina Nastasia, and her early songwriting attempts reflected an influence from the alternative end of the folk scene. After playing a number of local gigs, the 15-year old Marling attracted the attention of Virgin Records who signed her up and released her first three albums. The second of the three, 'I Speak Because I Can', was released on vinyl by Diverse Records on 15th February 2011, the same week she was awarded "Best British Female" at the Brit Awards.
In April of this year, Virgin released a 2CD version of current album 'A Creature I Don't Know'. The second CD featured a live performance from York Minster Cathedral which draws together songs from all three albums and is already a formidable 'greatest hits' set. Diverse Records now presents this stunning live performance as a stand-alone deluxe 180g double LP in a gatefold package.LP1
1. I Was Just A Card
2. The Muse
4. Don't Ask Me Why
6. The Beast
7. Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)
1. Blues Run The Game
2. Night Terror
3. Flicker And Fail
4. Alpha Shallows
5. What He Wrote
6. My Friends
8. Rambling Man
9. All My Rage$47.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
$19.99 $14.99 Save $5.00 (25%)
House With A Curse (On Sale)How much change is a band willing to endure in pursuit of a dream? In the case of Coliseum, as much as it takes. In the three years since their second album, No Salvation (their first and only for Relapse Records), the Louisville power trio have changed labels, producers, engineers, and replaced the frenetic breakneck speed of former drummer Chris Maggio with the emphatic rhythmic stomp of Carter Wilson, all in the service of producing the album they always dreamed of. That album is House With A Curse, their third full-length and first for Temporary Residence Ltd.
Produced by the band at The Funeral Home in Louisville and mixed by J. Robbins in Baltimore, House With A Curse features no less than a half dozen guests: Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy), J. Robbins (Jawbox), Jason Noble (Shipping News, Rachel, Rodan), Peter Searcy (Squirrel Bait) and more all stopped by to add vocals, extra guitar, strings and whatever else a particular song might have called for. House is not just a new and exciting chapter in the Coliseum story, it's a celebration of the underground music community that inspired its very existence.1. Introduction
2. Blind In One Eye
3. Everything To Everyone
4. Crime And The City
5. Cloaked In Red
6. Perimeter Man
7. Skeleton Smile
8. Isela Vega
9. Lost In Groningen
11. Man Was Never Meant To Fy
12. Punk/Money$19.99 $14.99 Save $5.00 (25%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$16.99 $12.74 Save $4.25 (25%)
Mirepoix and Smoke (Discontinued) (On Sale)Limited Edition Vinyl LP + Digital Download Card
For 31-year-old Minnesota-native Ben Weaver, the follow-up to his lauded 2008 album, The Ax in the Oak, was literally cooked up in the kitchen. Weaver was working as a prep cook in a farm-to-table restaurant in Minneapolis, where the songs on his latest album, Mirepoix and Smoke, started to take shape.
While The Ax in the Oak was more complex in its sound, the result of a collaboration between Weaver and Brian Deck (Califone, Iron and Wine, Mirepoix and Smoke is a decidedly more bucolic affair; its songs are barely accompanied by more than Weavers guitar or banjo and his voice, allowing for a more sensory experience of Weavers signature lyrical poetics. You just dont hear Mirepoix and Smoke, you smell it, taste it, feel it and see it.
As with Weavers previous two releases, Mirepoix and Smoke was recorded at Chicagos Engine Studios, and was engineered by Neil Strauch (Bonnie Prince Billy, Iron and Wine, Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos). Erica Froman, formerly of the dream-pop collective Anathallo, joined Ben on vocals and piano.1. Grass Doe
2. City Girl
3. Drag the Hills
4. East Jefferson
5. While Im Gone
6. Maiden Cliff
7. Split Ends
8. 22 Shells
9. Roosters Wife$16.99 $12.74 Save $4.25 (25%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Shangri LaBarely a year after his debut, in November 2013 Jake Bugg returns with its bar-raising follow-up, Shangri La. The album shares a title with the Malibu studio where it was made, once the 70s haven of Bob Dylan and The Band, now the creative hib of legendary producer Rick Rubin, the recording Titan whose jawdropping c.v. spans from Def Jam and Johnny Cash to Adele and Kanye West.
Rubin's assembled wrecking crew of Shangri La session regulars includes guitarist Matt Sweeney (Bonnie `Prince' Billy, Neil Diamond, Endless Boogie), bassist Jason Lader (The Mars Volta), and drummers Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello). Yet for all its stellar cast and production kudos, the real star of Shangri La is, unquestionably, Bugg himself.
Asked to compare Shangri La with its predecessor, Bugg concludes: 'My first album felt like a list of songs, whereas this one feels like a whole entity with something to say. Or if my first album was the colour of grey reality, this one's the colour of the sun'. The colour of our planet's nearest star. Or maybe the sound of a new star intensifying their musical colours. Listening to his second album, you dare to wonder where a talent like Jake Bugg could find themselves in ten years' time. His prediction: 'Up front for England'.1. There's A Beast And We All Feed It
2. Slumville Sunrise
3. What Doesn't Kill You
4. Me And You
5. Messed Up Kids
6. A Song About Love
7. All Your Reasons
9. Kitchen Table
10. Pine Trees
11. Simple Pleasures
12. Storm Passes Away$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
MetalsOn her new 12-song collection, Metals, Canadian singer/songwriter Feist is joined by her longtime collaborators Chilly Gonzales and Mocky. The trio spent a frigid month Trying to sound like we had played together as long as we'd collectively known each other, around 50 years, then decamped for California's rugged Big Sur coastline to record them. Feist co-produced the album with her aforementioned collaborators and Valgeir Sigurosson (Bjork, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.)
Recording can be a weightless free float from your day-life, and I like to pick places with certain fertile qualities that can give me a visual hook that I'm there to do something other than what I would otherwise do. And that clean line between land and see, the graphic edge of the continent pointing out toward the east, meaning not the Atlantic next stop Europe feeling, but next stop somewhere you've never been, Feist says. Plus, you are somewhere that looks completely unfound and yet it's been so perfectly recorded literarily. Steinbeck made 1000 albums there! Henry Miller and Anais Nin probably considered that line between land and sea, too. And on top of it, we truly found the perfect room to build a studio in, perched on the cliffs. A giant empty space.
Metals' songs range from low rumbling and moody ambiences to brutal and intense, as if it sonically maps the fog rolling in and the resulting cracking of thunder. There's a lot more chaos and movement and noise than I've had before, Feist says. I allowed for mistakes more than I ever have, which end up not being mistakes when you open things up and make room for them. It was about un-simplifying things and leaning on these masterful minds I have so much respect for. We were sort of testing the air, like a sea captain licks his finger to see which way the wind is coming from. It was less Brill Building and more naturalistic.1. The Bad In Each Other
3. Caught A Long Wind
4. How Come You Never Go There
5. A Commotion
6. The Circle Married the Line
7. Bittersweet Melodies
8. Anti Pioneer
9. Undiscovered First
10. Cicades and Gulls
11. Comfort Me
12. Get It Wrong, Get It Right$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Live At Third Man RecordsRecorded on July 18th, 2014 as the opening set for Peter Walker's psychedelic guitar experience, William Tyler's Live at Third Man Records LP was buried for far too long in our backlog of masters. To release it too soon would have been to unleash the secrets of the transcendent and acclaimed new record Modern Country (Merge, 2016) before they had a chance to manifest. Too wait any longer would have been torture for us. Originally planned to be a live single, the full, 5-song performance was too truthy, too seamless, and too perfectly whole to be whittled down to two tracks. So, surprise! A live LP is born.
For those unfamiliar with William Tyler, his story is Nashville legend... born into a songwriting family, Tyler was tapped by Kurt Wagner to become a member of Lambchop at age 19 (two decades younger than the other members), and quickly became the ''architect of the band's sound.'' From there, Tyler went on to back up the Silver Jews, Bonnie ''Prince'' Billy, Charlie Louvin, and others... all the while writing songs for his configuration of choice: fingerpicking solo guitar. The acoustic simplicity of his first two albums remains in his most recent effort (which he describes as ''a love letter to what we're losing in America. To what we've already lost''), and on this live LP, but Tyler is bringing more depth and more experimentation to his compositions of late. ''Gone Clear'' (known as ''Going Clear'' at the time of our recording) which appears on both records, is a melting pot of ideas: a drone reminiscent of Hindustani classical music, a central melody that sounds distinctly Appalachian, a devolution into a kaleidoscope of colors and ideas that it's hard to believe is being produced by a single musician. This layering of textures is Tyler's trademark, and even more awe-inspiring live.
We like to think that with the purposeful lack of smart phones, bars to saddle up to, and, of course, corners, concert-goers in the Blue Room tend to be more in-the-moment than in most performance venues. But it's a rare artist who can take the already focused atmosphere in the room and quiet every last busy mind - Tyler did just that. This immortalization of the performance in all its transmundane glory will entrance you from first note.1. We Can't Go Home Again
2. Terrace Of The Leper King
3. Missionary Ridge
4. Going Clear
5. Tears And Saints$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Jake Xerxes FussellThe Southern half of the Georgia-Alabama border follows the Chattahoochee River, which cleaves Columbus, Georgia from its decidedly less reputable neighbor, Phenix City, Alabama. Georgia's second city is the hometown of "Mother of the Blues" Ma Rainey and novelist Carson McCullers, but it was local hillbilly duo Darby and Tarlton's 1927 hit "Columbus Stockade Blues" that first immortalized Columbus in popular culture. Back in their day, if you ended up in lockup in Columbus, chances are you did your dirtiest deeds across the river. Historically rife with vice of every conceivable variety-gambling, prostitution, moonshining, and endemic corruption and violence perpetrated by both gangs and police-the notoriously anarchic Phenix City was once known as "The Wickedest City in America."
A similar frontier liminality and skewed sense of place characterize the music of Durham, North Carolina singer and guitarist Jake Xerxes Fussell, whose self-titled debut record, produced by and featuring William Tyler, transmutes ten arcane folk and blues tunes into vibey cosmic laments and crooked riverine rambles. Jake Xerxes (yes, that's his real middle name, after Georgia potter D.X. Gordy) grew up in Columbus, son of Fred C. Fussell, a folklorist, curator, and photographer who hails from America's Wickedest City. Fred's fieldwork took him, often with young Jake in tow, across the Southeast documenting traditional vernacular culture, which included recording blues and old-time musicians with fellow folklorists and recordists George Mitchell and Art Rosenbaum (which led Jake to music, and to some of the songs herein) and collaborating with American Indian artists (which led Jake eventually to his graduate research on Choctaw fiddlers.)
As a teenager Jake began playing and studying with elder musicians in the Chattahoochee Valley, apprenticing with Piedmont blues legend Precious Bryant ("Georgia Buck"), with whom he toured and recorded, and riding wild with Alabama bluesman, black rodeo rider, rye whiskey distiller, and master dowser George Daniel ("Rabbit on a Log"). He joined a Phenix City country band who were students of Jimmie Tarlton of Darby and Tarlton; he accompanied Etta Baker in North Carolina; he moved to Berkeley, where he hung with genius documentary filmmaker Les Blank and learned from Haight folkies like Will Scarlett (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, Brownie McGhee) and cult fingerstyle guitarist Steve Mann ("Push Boat"); he appeared on A Prairie Home Companion. He did a whole lot of listening, gradually honing his prodigious guitar skills, singing, and repertoire. In 2005 he moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where he enrolled in the Southern Studies department at Ole Miss, recorded and toured with Rev. John Wilkins, and, last year, met up with acclaimed artist William Tyler to begin recording his first solo album.
Collaborating with Tyler and engineer Mark Nevers in Nashville was a conscious decision to depart cloistered trad scenes and sonics for broader, more oblique horizons. Tyler, a guitar virtuoso known for his own compositions that untether and reframe traditional six-string forms and techniques, helmed the push boat in inimitable fashion, enlisting crack(ed) Nashville session vets Chris Scruggs (steel guitar, bass, fiddle: Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Marty Stuart), Brian Kotzur (drums: Silver Jews), and Hoot Hester (fiddle: Bill Monroe, Ray Charles) to crew.
So it's no accident that Jake approaches the songs and styles represented here with both interpretive respect and unfussy irreverence, imbuing them with equal parts vaporish, percolating atmosphere and academic rigor, honoring the folksong headwaters by emphasizing their liquid mutability, alien strangeness, and sly humor above preconceived notions of static authenticity. Fussell recognizes that folk revivalist preciousness about spurious genre boundaries often feels absurdly at odds with the unruliness and restlessly inventive practices of tradition bearers-no revival or reenactment gear is necessary when the music lives and breathes and throws around hips and knees like these. Likewise, when you examine their lyrical content, ostensibly linear tales about rivers and work (labor of the hands, as in "Boat's up the River" and "Man at the Mill" and labor of the heart, as in "Star Girl" and "Pork and Beans") reveal themselves as fractured, riddled with narrative lacunae that open up the texts as squirrelly riddles or gentle metaphysical jokes.
For Fussell, these odd disjunctures demonstrate the way that verses and choruses, the stories we tell, disintegrate and erode over time, worn smooth as river stones and transmogrified by their repeated telling, more lovely for their fissures and absences than for any imaginary original integrity. (Aptly, "Chattahoochee" may mean something like "writing on rocks" in Muscogee or Yuchi.) Each song rendered here contains its own twinned inversion-its own Columbus, its own Phenix City-and Jake navigates their shoals with intuitive grace and authority.1. All in Down and Out
2. Let Me Lose
3. Star Girl
4. Raggy Levy"
5. Rabbit on a Log
6. Boat's up the River
7. Man at the Mill
8. Push Boat
9. Georgia Buck
10. Pork and Beans$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Stranger In My Land (Out of Stock)Roger Knox, aka the Koori King of Country or Black Elvis as he's known in his homeland, is an Aboriginal Australian Country & Western singer with a honeyed bear hug of a voice. Bloodshot artist Jon Langford (Mekons, Waco Brothers) met Knox on a visit to Australia several years ago. When he heard of Roger and the potentially-soon to- be-lost subculture of this utterly unique cultural collision, Langford knew he had to be involved. Stranger In My Land is a collection of songs originally written by Aborigine artists who were Knox's peers and predecessors; some tunes previously recorded but difficult to find as well as several unrecorded, handed-down folk songs. Stranger In My Land features guest performances from Bonnie Prince Billy, Kelly Hogan, Dave Alvin (X, Blasters), Sally Timms and Jon Langford (Mekons), The Sadies, Andre Williams, and perhaps the last known recording from Charlie Louvin of the Louvin Brothers.1. The Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards
2. Stranger In My Country
3. Blue Gums Calling Me Back Home
4. Took The Children Away
5. Arafura Pearl
6. Brisbane Blacks
7. Wayward Dreams
8. Scobie's Dream
9. Ticket To Nowhere
10. Warrior In Chains
11. Streets of Tamworth
12. Home In The Valley$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock