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 Tedeschi Trucks Band & Trey Anastasio, John Mayer, Umphrey’s McGee, Nigel Hall, Margo Price, Dave McMurray, K.D.A.P. (Kevin Drew), Nathaniel Rateliff, Cochemea Gastelum and Andy Falco. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Tedeschi Trucks Band & Trey Anastasio – Layla Revisited (Live at LOCKN’)
The Scoop: The Tedeschi Trucks Band released their highly anticipated live album Layla Revisited (Live At LOCKN’) today via Fantasy Records. On August 24, 2019, TTB along with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio and guitarist Doyle Bramhall II performed Derek & The Dominos’ iconic 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs at the LOCKN’ Festival in Arrington, Virginia. While it was a surprise performance, the many connections TTB leaders guitarist Derek Trucks and vocalist/guitarist Susan Tedeschi have with the album made it a natural choice. Layla — which featured legendary guitarists Eric Clapton and Duane Allman — was released on November 9, 1970, the same day Susan was born. Furthermore, Derek’s parents Chris and Debbie Trucks were such fans of the album that they named their son Derek. In a statement, Derek Trucks spoke about the influence the album had on him as a child as well.
By the time that I started playing guitar, the sound of Duane Allman’s slide was almost an obsession. His playing on Layla is still one of the high-water marks for me. The spirit, the joy, the recklessness, and the inevitability of it. My dad would play that record for me and my brother to fall asleep to and further sear it into my DNA.
TTB previewed the live record with a number of performance videos from the Layla set including “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out,” “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” and more. Derek and Susan also included a studio version of Layla closing track “Thorn Tree In The Garden,” which was not performed by the band during the set but played on the PA after the show.
John Mayer – Sob Rock
The Scoop: Guitarist John Mayer started work on Sob Rock, a new studio album out today on Columbia Records, shortly after finishing 2017’s The Search For Everything. Mayer continued to record the 10-track LP through early-2021 and employed Don Was as co-producer. “Sob Rock is made to make you feel joy because it was made in a moment where joy was at such a premium,” the guitarist told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 of an album with a sound that throws back to the days of yacht rock. “The idea of Sob Rock is that it might’ve been something that already happened. But when you go looking, it’s not. The idea of sob rock is to implant false memories into your brain, because that’s what it did for me. So it’s a little black mirror. You can’t find it.”
Mayer penned all 10 tracks on Sob Rock with Ernest Wilson earning a co-writing credit on “New Light,” a song the guitarist released as a single in 2018. Mayer not only plays guitar on the LP, he also recorded keyboard, piano and bass parts for some tracks. Other contributors to Sob Rock include drummer Aaron Sterling, keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, bassist Sean Hurley, percussionist Lenny Castro, vocalist Maren Morris, bassist Pino Palladino and singer Cautious Clay.
Umphrey’s McGee – You Walked Up Shaking In Your Boots But You Stood Tall & Left A Raging Bull
The Scoop: Over the past 12 years Umphrey’s McGee has frequently opened shows with instrumental intros they composed. Ten of these tunes are featured on You Walked Up Shaking In Your Boots But You Stood Tall & Left A Raging Bull, a new studio album available today through UM’s Nothing Too Fancy Music imprint. Members of the group recorded their parts separately while self-isolating during the pandemic.
A press release explains how the album got its title:
Finding himself invited to sit in on the great Los Lobos’ opening set during an Umphrey’s New Years’ run at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, guitarist Jake Cinninger stared down nerves and intimidation as he walked onto the stage with Southern California’s rock and roll kings. “I go up there, get comfortable, start getting into it, finally make some eye contact with [David] Hidalgo and he gives me the go-ahead to blaze a solo,” says Cinninger. “I start out meek and mild, and dial it up to bronco mode.” He crushed it, so much so that after the show, Los Lobos’s rhythm guitarist Cesar Rosas came over to Cinninger to let him know, “You walked up shaking in your boots, but you stood tall and left a raging bull.”
Nigel Hall – Spiritual
The Scoop: Lettuce keyboardist/vocalist Nigel Hall entered Richmond’s Jellowstone Studios to record a much different album than his solo debut, 2015’s Ladies & Gentleman… Nigel Hall. This time around he aimed to display all sides of his musicality instead of the traditional soul sound he was known for that his first LP showed off. Plus, Nigel had the creative control to execute his vision. The result is Spiritual, a 12-track album — with a bonus song featured on vinyl editions — out today via Regime Music Group.
Hall recruited a number of his friends to contribute to Spiritual including acclaimed pianist/vocalist Patrice Rushen, guitarist Marcus King, Lettuce saxophonist Ryan Zoidis and Dave Matthews Band saxophonist Jeff Coffin. “With this album, I didn’t want this to sound like another release. I want people to know that I am my own entity and that I want to explore different areas of music,” explained Nigel of the direction taken on Spiritual. “I feel like every artist records one record in their career for themselves. This one is it for me. I feel like if no one hears this record, I’ll still be able to sleep at night because I know there is something real out in the world that I put there.”
Margo Price – Live From The Other Side
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Margo Price goes Live From The Other Side with her new three-song EP, available today on Loma Vista Recordings. Commemorating the anniversary of Price’s 2020 studio album, That’s How Rumors Get Started, the EP presents new versions of a pair of songs from the album, “Hey Child” featuring Adia Victoria, Allison Russell, Kam Franklin and Kyshona Armstrong and solo arrangement of the title track. Price and the guest vocalists also recored a cover of The Beatles classic “Help!” Price revealed the EP was influenced by Tina Turner, stating:
“So much has happened since I released That’s How Rumors Get Started into the world in 2020. I hope it kept you warm during those cold, lonely nights. Some things changed for the better, some for the worse. I know I am stronger and wiser than before but there is also an innocence lost, a naivety that we will never have back. When I think of the carefree moments of the old days, I wish I had enjoyed it more but ignorance is bliss, isn’t it?!
I would also like to dedicate this EP to a hero of all of ours – Ms. Tina Turner. Her work has had such a massive influence on me ever since I heard her story and watched her movie What’s Love Got To Do With It when I was just 10-years-old. Her strength, talent and truth have inspired me endlessly and I loved performing her interpretation of ‘Help’ by The Beatles. I believe in the power to manifest your own destiny and I offer Tina’s Buddhist mantra to anyone who may need it: ‘Namu Myoho Renge Kyo’ means ‘I honor the Universal Mystical Law of Cause and Effect.’ Take it with you wherever you go and hope to see you down the highway.”
Dave McMurray – Grateful Deadication
The Scoop: Jazz saxophonist Dave McMurray honors the music of the Grateful Dead on Grateful Deadication, an album Blue Note released today. The album features McMurray’s interpretations of nine GD classics including two versions of “Touch Of Grey” as Dave recorded one take as an instrumental and another with vocalist Herschel Boone. “The funny thing is, I’m not a longtime fan,” McMurray admitted in a press release. “I knew their hits. I remember seeing the video for ‘Touch of Grey’ and thinking, ‘Wow, that’s quirky.’ But I knew nothing about the Grateful Dead. I was confused that they had such a following, with fans actually following the band from city to city. I was like, ‘What are these people seeing?’ I just didn’t get it.”
However, McMurray came around after he performed with Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir during Don Was’ all-star set at the 2018 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. It was “Days Between” in particular that caught his attention. “I saw the music and realized this was a crazy song,” added the saxophonist. “It had weird time signature changes and all kinds of stuff. But when we did it on the gig, it was great. It just had this beautiful vibe and the audience loved it. So I thought I’d better start checking them out. At first, I didn’t understand it, but one day I was driving and it just clicked. The long forms and jams reminded me of Miles Davis, or Soft Machine, or Weather Report. It turned my ears around.” Weir & Wolf Bros contributed to the version of “Loser” found on Grateful Deadication, which also features soul-laden vocals from Bettye LaVette.
K.D.A.P. – Influences
The Scoop: Influences is Broken Social Scene co-founder Kevin Drews’s new solo album, out today on his Arts & Crafts record label. The album is the first under Drew’s K.D.A.P. (Kevin Drew A Picture) moniker and finds him returning to his early days of creating mostly instrumental music.
“I didn’t have anything to say on this record,” Drew stated. “But I had so much to feel.”
Drew utilized the looping app Endlesss to form the basis of the songs on Influences. He was in southern England last year at the start of the pandemic and began recording loops on the app while taking walks along the English countryside. He returned to his native Canada to flesh out the tracks at The Bathouse Recording Studio in Kingston, Ontario, working with frequent collaborators Nyles Spencer, Charles Spearin and others.
Nathaniel Rateliff – Red Rocks 2020
The Scoop: Nathaniel Rateliff’s live album Red Rocks 2020 arrived today through Stax Records. Rateliff captured the landmark live collection during his September 2020 run at the iconic Colorado venue, which saw the Denver-based singer-songwriter performing to a nearly empty amphitheatre due to the pandemic. Rateliff wanted to document the moment for posterity but also so that fans who couldn’t attend could still experience live performances of songs off Nathaniel’s 2020 solo album, And It’s Still Alright, which the singer-songwriter was scheduled to tour around until the pandemic sidelined live music. Rateliff heralded the 18-track Red Rocks 2020 with performance videos of And It’s Still Alright cuts “Mavis” and “All Or Nothing” along with “Still Out There Running” from the Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ 2018 album Tearing At The Seams. Red Rocks 2020 also features a collaboration between Nathaniel and his friend singer-songwriter Kevin Morby, who was scheduled to open Rateliff’s original Red Rocks shows, on Leonard Cohen’s “There Is A War.”
Cochemea – Vol. II: Baca Sewa
The Scoop: The Dap-Kings saxophonist Cochemea Gastelum follows his 2019 solo album Relations with today’s release of its sequel, Vol. II: Baca Sewa, on Daptone Records. The new album takes its title “Baca Sewa” from Gastelum’s family name prior to Spanish colonization. Emphasizing familial releations and his Yaqui and Mescalero Apache Indian ancestry, the title track’s melody was developed by Anthony Gastelum and the album features the Baca Sewa Singers, made up of several generations of Cochemea’s family. Cochema compiled a seven-piece ensemble to record the album, featuring New York City-based percussinsists and members of the Daptone rhythm section.
Andy Falco – The Will Of The Way
The Scoop: The Infamous Stringdusters’ Andy Falco released his first full-length solo album since 2007 today via Americana Vibes. The Will Of The Way was largely written during quarantine and sees the singer-songwriter/guitarist reflecting on the very nature of his craft.
“Being grounded from the road due to the pandemic, I’ve uncovered time to truly dive into songwriting in a way I never had before,” Falco said in a statement. “It was a very emotional time (for me), and it led me to ask myself a lot of questions internally like ‘why am I writing this song,’ what am I really trying to say?’ I became only interested in recording songs that I felt a deep personal connection to, and the result was this album.”
Andy also welcomed a number of guests on the 11-track The Will Of The Way including his brother Patrick on bass, Guster’s Dave Butler and more. Renowned drummer Joe Russo plays on the opening number “Stones Unturned,” while both Russo and vocalist Joss Stone guest on “The Proof is in the Pudding.”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.