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Among The Ghosts (Pre-Order)Lucero's ninth studio album, Among the Ghosts, is their first for noted Nashville indie label Thirty Tigers. It was recorded and co-produced with Grammy-winning engineer/producer and Memphis native Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Drive by Truckers) at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Service, the studio built by the legendary producer after outgrowing his Memphis Recording Service/Sun Studio.
Recorded primarily live as a five-piece, Among the Ghosts eschews the Stax-inspired horns and Jerry Lee Lewis-style boogie piano featured on some of the band's past recordings for a streamlined rock & roll sound that pays homage to their seminal influences as it seeks to push that legacy into the future. For a band who carried the torch of the alt-country movement back in the 90's and helped pave the way for what is now called Americana, Lucero have re-discovered what inspired them in the first place. The sound is more their own and at the same time not exactly like anything they've done before. This is a band settling into their craft. The 10-song disc's title is both a tribute to the spirits which roam the streets of their fabled city, as well as the hard road the determinedly independent band set out on 20 years ago. The band played around 200 shows per year for many of those 20 years.
With a nod to his younger brother Jeff Nichols, an acclaimed filmmaker whose movies include Loving, Mud, Take Shelter, Midnight Special, and Shotgun Stories; Nichols has written songs that are cinematic short stories, steeped in Southern gothic lore. There are nods to regional authors like Flannery O'Connor and Faulkner, as well as newer writers like Larry Brown (Big Bad Love, Fay), Ron Rash (The Cove, The World Made Straight), and William Gay (The Long Home).
As the first album he's written since his marriage and the birth of his now two-year-old daughter Izzy, Nichols approached the task as a narrator rather than in first person. It's a dark palette that includes tales of a haunting ("Among the Ghosts"), a drowning ("Bottom of the Sea), a reckoning with the devil ("Everything has Changed"), a divorce ("Always Been You"), and a shoot out ("Cover Me"). And that's just Side A. Side B is a letter from a battlefield ("To My Dearest Wife"), a crime ("Long Way Back Home"), a straight-out rocker ("For the Lonely Ones") and even a spooky spoken-word cameo from actor Michael Shannon, who has appeared in every one of Nichols' brother's films. The song's title "Back to the Night" references a line from Nick Tosches' Jerry Lee Lewis biography, Hellfire. In addition, there's a song Nichols wrote for his brother's movie Loving, which appeared in the film and on the soundtrack, re- recorded for Among the Ghosts with the whole band.
"You could also say there's a rescue, a getaway, a survival story and a middle finger to Satan himself," laughs Nichols. "It's all in your perspective."
Several songs juxtapose going off to battle with a rock & roll band's endless touring, shifting time periods like the spirits which haunt the album, the happiness of domestic bliss undercut with fears of loss and the specter of mortality. Among the Ghosts simultaneously reprises the past and looks to the future, while being firmly anchored in the present.
Musically, the band highlights range from co-founding member Brian Venable's Dire Straits-meets-War on Drugs guitar pyrotechnics in "Bottom of the Sea" and "Cover Me" to the Springsteen vibe of "For the Lonely Ones," Rick Steff's skeletal piano lines on "Always Been You," John C's bass lines in "Everything Has Changed" and "Long Way Back Home," and drummer Roy Berry's dynamic shifts from the powerful and brutal title track "Among the Ghosts" to the marching drive of "To My Dearest Wife" and the subtlety of "Loving." Throughout, Nichols' bourbon-soaked growl has become even more distinctive and commanding.
Among the Ghosts offers a timeless perspective on Lucero's distinctive sound. The lyrics could've been written 200 years ago or yesterday. Representing a new South compared to the one that's been mythologized, Lucero have formulated their own ideas and culture which, in some cases, contradicts what came before them (no Confederate flags), but also updates and reconsiders those traditions in a new light.
"I think we've tried to remake this place that we love and cherish in our own fashion. We are very proud of where we are from and we've spent the last 20 years trying to bring a bit of our version of home to the rest of the world It may have taken 20 years, but everything has fallen in place right where it needs to be," acknowledges Nichols. "There were some dark days in those middle years, but we've learned how to do this and survive. We still write heartbreak songs, but now, with a family at home, it's a whole new kind of heartbreak."
Among the Ghosts lays out that new territory with alacrity, as Lucero shines their Morning Star, burning just as brightly, if not more so, 20 years later. As one of the album's song titles so aptly puts it, "Everything Has Changed," but one thing hasn't Lucero's music remains more vital than ever.1. Among the Ghosts
2. Bottom of the Sea
3. Everything Has Changed
4. Always Been You
5. Cover Me
6. To My Dearest Wife
7. Long Way Back Home
9. Back to the Night
10. For the Lonely Ones$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Women & WorkATO Records is proud to announce the release of Women & Work, the new studio album from Memphis, TN's Lucero. Recorded at the historic Ardent Studios in Memphis, Women & Work was produced and mixed by Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly) and finds the band making an impressive step forward in both songwriting and in the evolution of their signature Memphis rock and soul sound. Frontman Ben Nichols says, This record is Lucero doing what we do best. It's one part barrelhouse rock & roll and one part lonesome nights. The thing is, we are having more fun than ever playing both on stage and off and I think that shows on this album. Gatefold vinyl with CD.1. Downtown (Intro)
2. On My Way Downtown
3. Women & Work
4. It May Be Too Late
6. Who You Waiting On?
7. I Can't Stand to Leave You
8. When I Was Young
10. Like Lightning
11. Go Easy$19.99Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
All A Man Should DoFollowing the release of 2012's Women and Work, Lucero's new album All A Man Should Do contains some of the most resonant lyrics Ben Nichols has ever written. They read like chapters from his life: the duality of relationships, getting older, finding where you want to be in this world and more.
Working with producer Ted Hutt (Old Crow Medicine Show, Flogging Molly) for a third time at Memphis's Ardent Studios, the band felt comfortable enough to take some chances with a palette of new tones that sound understated yet powerful, bringing life to the stories behind the lyrics without overshadowing them.
This is a Memphis record in the greatest sense and a perfect finish to the three-part love letter to a city that brought them up and made Lucero what they are today.1. Baby Don't You Want Me
2. Went Looking for Warren Zevon's Los Angeles
3. The Man I Was
4. Can't You Hear Them Howl
5. I Woke Up In New Orleans
6. Throwback No. 2
7. They Called Her Killer
8. Young Outlaws
9. I'm in Love with a Girl
10. My Girl & Me in '93$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Hearts & ArrowsImport
Danny & The Champions Of The World are releasing their third album but first on vinyl, Hearts & Arrows on 14th February 2012. Singer/songwriter Danny Wilson was formally in critically acclaimed alt.country legends Grand Drive. The follow-up to 2009's acclaimed Streets Of Our Time, the album was produced by Tony Poole and mixed by Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Lucero). The album features an entirely new Champs line-up which includes Rockingbirds bassist Chris Carter.
Whereas the Champs were originally a loose and chaotic collective of like-minded souls so loose and so chaotic that, at any given gig or session, you couldnt accurately predict who exactly would be performing alongside Wilson this new incarnation of the group is a proper rocknroll band, wholly and entirely committed to being the Champs.1. Ghosts In The Wire
2. Heart & Arrow
3. Soul In The City4. Colonel And The King
5. Brothers In The Night6. Too Tough To Cry
7. Every Beat Of My Heart
8. Can't Hold Back
9. On The Street
10. You Don't Know (My Heart Is In The Right Place)
11. Walk With Me$37.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Happiest LambSince arriving in Los Angeles, Audra Mae has landed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell, a TV placement singing Bob Dylan's Forever Young on the FX series Sons of Anarchy, a record deal with SideOneDummy Records, and in late 2009, co-wrote Who I Was Born to Be, the only original track on Susan Boyle s chart-topping, 9 million-selling I Dreamed a Dream album. It has turned out to be a dream come true for the 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Oklahoma.
Growing up, show business was in Audra Mae's blood. She is the great grand niece of the late Judy Garland and her grandmother turned her on to country and folk artists like Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Woody Guthrie, while her grandfather introduced her to jazz.
Audra Mae is a natural without a doubt. The Happiest Lamb, produced by Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem, Lucero) spotlights Mae's incredible voice and her songs are timeless affairs augmented with minimal accompaniment, including acoustic guitar, piano, mandolin and sometimes mournful accordions.1. The Happiest Lamb
3. The River
5. My Lonely Worry
6. The Fable
7. Lightning In A Bottle
8. Sullivan's Letter
11. Little Sparrow$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Nothing For Us HereCult Leader are the next evolutionary leap forward for three-quarters of Gaza, arguably one of the best metallic bands of the last decade. After the early 2013 dissolution of the aforementioned band, remaining members Michael Mason, Casey Hansen, and Anthony Lucero were joined by bassist Sam Richards to form this brand new beast.
Nothing For Us Here is a complex crusher as you would expect. Brilliantly heavy, technical musicianship complimented by Anthony Lucero's newfound brutal vocal delivery (previously he played bass in Gaza). All of it coming together as an unconventional tangle of metal/hardcore/punk wreckage. Proving that even in their primordial state, Cult Leader are capable of standing as contemporaries Converge and Coalesce as new monsters of the aggressive music genre.1. God's Lonely Children
2. Flightless Birds
4. Indoctrinator's Deathbed
6. Driftwood$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ride On The Train (Discontinued)Limited RED vinyl!
Taking cues from classic pop, rock-n-roll, and
Americana, NY's Hollis Brown combines raw rock sensibilities with sweet melodies and heartfelt lyrics to create a ricj, warm sound that can fill any room. Their combination of an urban upbringing and throwback musical influences of traditional blues contributed heavily to the band's sound. Classic rock with a NY state of mind. Hollis Brown have been touring with LUCERO and Deer Tick.1. Ride on the train
2. Down on your luck
3. When the water's warm
4. Nothing & the famous one
5. Doghouse blues
6. Gypsy black cat
7. Faith & love
8. If it ain't me
9. Walk on water
10. Nightfall$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Last Poem / First LightFrom NYC, So Hideous combines intense, blackened hardcore with orchestral elements to create a unique blend of music that has been called a raging force of post-black metal; frothing with shoegaze and oozing with tortured melancholy.
Last Poem/First Light was recorded and mixed by Dean Baltulonis (Agnostic Front, Lucero) and mastered by Scott Hull (Sting and Lou Reed).1. Rising
2. Stabat Mater
3. My Light
5. Last Poem
6. Glory$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
WishboneWishbone is the sophomore album from the British-born artist who calls New York City home. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Lucero, Old Crow Medicine Show), the well crafted songs on Wishbone live up to the expectations put upon a young man the Wall Street Journal touted as a "promising talent" with "much more to say," after the release of his Liam Watson-produced debut album, A Winter Tale.
On Wishbone Long taps into a broader pallete of emotions than he has on past releases, eschewing melancholy and eloquently channeling anger and frustration into gritty, hard driving guitar parts (the majority of which are played by Long) that compliment his rough-hewn vocals. Steel guitar provides an apt counter balance, adding a hint of twang and drawn out expanse to the urgency put forth in the lyrics. Throughout the album Long displays his deft control of melody and tone, well practiced over many years of prolific songwriting.1. Devil Moon
2. She Won't Leave
3. In Your Way
4. Blood in the Orchard
5. Help You Mend
6. Making You Talk
7. All My Brothers
8. My Parade
9. Yesterday Yesterday
10. Waiting for Dawn
11. Not Tonight, Not Today
12. To the Light$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Southern AvenueSouthern Avenue is a Memphis street that runs from the easternmost part of the city limits all the way to Soulsville, the original home of Stax Records. Southern Avenue is also the name of a fiery young Memphis quintet that embodies its home city's soul, blues and gospel traditions, while adding a youthful spirit and dynamic energy all their own. "If Memphis is a genre, this is it!" proclaims American Blues Scene and Rock 103FM calls Southern Avenue "The most talked about band in Memphis."
Their self-titled debut album is a breath of fresh air with its own unique blend of gospel- tinged R&B vocals, roots/blues-based guitar work and soul-inspired songwriting. And Southern Avenue's upcoming release on the fabled Stax label is a testament to the young combo's talent and vision.
Southern Avenue features five young but seasoned musicians who came from diverse musical and personal backgrounds to create music that spans their wide-ranging musical interests, while showcasing the powerful chemistry that the group has honed through stage and studio experience.
Southern Avenue encompasses Memphis-born, church-bred sisters Tierinii and Tikyra Jackson, respectively a soulful, charismatic singer and a subtle powerful drummer; guitarist Ori Naftaly, an Israeli-born blues disciple who first came to America as an acclaimed solo artist; versatile jazz-inspired bassist Daniel McKee; and the band's newest addition, keyboardist Jeremy Powell, an early alumnus of Stax's legendary music academy.
The band members' diverse skills come together organically on Southern Avenue, scheduled for release on February 24, 2017 via Stax Records, a division of Concord Music Group. Produced by Kevin Houston (North Mississippi Allstars, Lucero, Patty Griffin), the 10-song album features guest appearances from Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and trumpeter Marc Franklin of the Bo-Keys. But it's Southern Avenue's own potent musical chemistry that drives such sublimely soulful originals as Don't Give Up, What Did I Do, It's Gonna Be Alright, Love Me Right and Wildflower. The band also pays tribute to its roots with an incandescent reading of Ann Peebles' Memphis soul classic Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love.
The seeds for Southern Avenue's birth were planted when Ori Naftaly, who'd grown up in Israel with a deep-rooted passion for American blues and funk, came to Memphis in 2013 to compete in the prestigious International Blues Challenge. That experience led to Naftaly moving permanently to Memphis and successfully touring the United States with his own band. Although his talents were embraced by American audiences, Naftaly felt constrained in his own band, feeling the need to include a more expansive, collaborative musical vision. That opportunity arrived when he met Memphis native Tierinii Jackson, who'd gotten her start singing in church, before performing in a series of cover bands and theatrical projects.
According to Ori, When I saw Tierinii perform, I thought, 'This is why I came to America.' I met her and we clicked. At our first rehearsal, she told me that her sister was a drummer, and she thought it would be great to have her in the band. We had such a good vibe, and suddenly I didn't care so much about my solo thing.
I initially clicked with Ori really well, but it was his project, Tierinii remembers. Then he came to me and said 'I want this band to be a collaboration, I want this to be our vision and our music.' So we started writing together, and that's when I realized that we were really the same musically.
We started over, Naftaly continues. We threw out most of the songs I'd been playing in my solo band, and Tierinii and I wrote a whole new set, and we became Southern Avenue. The more we played together, the closer we got, and the more we became a family. We started getting a different kind of crowd, and from there things escalated quickly.
Ori said, 'My band is done, this is y'all's band,' Tierinii recalls. We all quit our other gigs and started focusing on this, working and writing and living together in a way that you don't experience when you're playing somebody else's music. Now we're playing songs that we wrote ourselves and we're playing them from our hearts. That is when I realized that we had something special. Despite not having a record deal, Southern Avenue quickly found success touring in America and Europe. They won additional attention playing some prestigious festivals and competing in the International Blues Challenge, in which they represented Memphis. Less than a year after the band's formation, they were signed to the resurgent Stax label.
I feel like being on Stax is a responsibility, says Tierinii. I grew up in Memphis, seeing the name Stax everywhere. It was a constant presence, and now it's up to us to live up that. I feel like this band can be a platform to do a lot of positive things for the city of Memphis. I want to change the world, but Memphis is home. Tierinii views Southern Avenue as a perfect soundtrack to our first year together. We wrote these songs in our first nine months of being a band. We'd all done so many things and come from so many different places, but the music represents all of us. It's been a real crash course, she continues. We've haven't been a band for very long, but what we have feels very special, and it's made us a strong unit. I think that we represent something that people need to see right now.
This band has already made our dreams come true, Ori concludes. I've waited all my life to be in a band like this, and it's amazing to me that I get to play with these people every night. Our goal is to keep doing this for a long time and leave our mark. We're trying to build a legacy.1. Don't Give Up
2. What Did I Do
3. It's Gonna Be Alright
4. Slipped, Tripped And Fell In Love
5. Love Me Right
6. 80 Miles From Memphis
8. No Time To Lose
10. Peace Will Come$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now