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NEW WEST

Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band

The Mountain

    Originally released in 1999 and widely regarded as one of the best albums of that year, New West is proud to reissue one of Steve Earle's finest works. Released in 1999, The Mountain marks a radical departure from Steve Earle's previous works as it was his first wholly bluegrass album. He later revealed that he had made the album as a tribute to the founder of bluegrass music the legendary Bill Monroe, who had died in 1996. In order to help flesh out the songs he had written for the album, Steve Earle called upon the famous bluegrass band of Del McCoury; widely regarded as one of the finest bluegrass bands on the planet who at that point. The album was a critical success and yielded Earle's 7th Grammy nomination when it was nominated for 'Best Bluegrass Album' in 2000.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLP Info: Available for the first time ever on heavy duty 180g vinyl.

    All Them Witches

    ATW

      By most bands’ fifth album, the sound is pretty set. Parameters established. Refinement dissipated in favour of formulaic execution of what’s worked in the past. Fair enough. All Them Witches take a harder route. In 2017, the Nashville four-piece offered what might’ve otherwise become their own template in their fourth album, ‘Sleeping Through The War’. Their second for New West Records following 2015’s mellow-vibing ‘Dying Surfer Meets His Maker’, ‘Sleeping Through The War’ brought larger production values to dug-in heavy psych blues jamming with oversight from producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson). After exploring new ground on 2013’s ‘Lightning At The Door’ and 2012’s ‘Our Mother Electricity’ as well as ‘Dying Surfer Meets His Maker’, with ‘Sleeping Through The War’ the band had arrived at something new, something sprawling, and grander-feeling than anything before it.

      So naturally, in a year’s time they’ve thrown that all to the Appalachian wind, turned the process completely on its head and reversed paths - recording in a cabin in Kingston Springs, about 20 miles outside of Nashville on I-40, with guitarist Ben McLeod at the helm. The result, mixed by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Kurt Vile), is the most intimate, human- sounding album All Them Witches have ever recorded and another redefinition of the band. Introducing keyboardist / percussionist Jonathan Draper to the fold with McLeod, bassist / vocalist Charles Michael Parks, Jr., and drummer / graphic artist Robby Staebler, the new eponymous record isn’t self-titled by mistake. It’s the band confirming and continuing to develop their approach, in the shuffle of ‘Fishbelly 86 Onions’, the organlaced groove of ‘Half-Tongue’, the tense build of ‘HJTC’ and the fluid jam in closer ‘Rob’s Dream’.

      From the sustained consonants in Parks’ vocals to McLeod’s commanding slide in ‘Workhorse’ and drifting melancholy at the outset of ‘Harvest Feast’, All Them Witches are laying claim to the essential facets of their identity.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xColoured LP Info: Red transparent 140g double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve

      2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Split translucent red and blue coloured 140g double vinyl

      Aaron Lee Tasjan

      Karma For Cheap

        Most people know Aaron Lee Tasjan as one of the wittiest, most offbeat, brilliant, weed-smokin’ and LSD microdosin’ Americana troubadours writing and singing songs today. The New York Times, NPR and Rolling Stone will all gladly corroborate. Steel yourselves, folk fans, because he’s about to follow his restless muse straight out from under the weight of everyone’s expectations into the kind of glammy, jingle-jangle, power-pop and psych-tinged sounds he hasn’t dabbled in since his younger days playing lead guitar for a late-period incarnation of The New York Dolls.

        ‘Karma For Cheap’ is Tasjan’s third album and second for New West Records. The record was coproduced by Aaron and his friends Jeff Trott (Stevie Nicks, Liz Phair, Meiko, Joshua Radin) and Gregory Lattimer (Albert Hammond Jr.) and features Aaron Lee’s road band - guitarist Brian Wright, bassist Tommy Scifres and drummer Seth Earnest - with whom he’s been touring heavily for the last two years.

        While the stylistic shift from Tasjan’s palpably stoned 70s-country-channeling 2015 debut, ‘In The Blazes’, to his more sophisticated, introspective and lushly produced 2016 follow-up, ‘Silver Tears’, was relatively incremental, Karma’s rocked-up Brit-pop-influenced Beatles-Bowie-Badfinger vibes underscore a significant departure. The album boldly reimagines these vintage sounds, pushing the boundary of what can be considered Americana.

        The roots of Tasjan’s ‘Karma For Cheap’ stretch deep, drinking up the sounds of a Southern California childhood spent listening to The Beatles while riding around with his mom at the wheel of their navy blue Volvo station wagon - back to the very first pre-teen year he picked up a six-string and started figuring out all the pretty little chords in those Lennon-McCartney tunes. Back to the pure, blissful unfiltered innocence of falling in love with music for the first time. A huge sonic touchstone for Aaron’s new record is ‘The Beatles Anthology’, one of his childhood favourites. In songs like ‘If Not Now When’, ‘Songbird’ and ‘The Rest Is Yet To Come’ you can hear echoes of George Harrison’s vibrant guitar riffs and Jeff Lynne’s lavish production on those lo-fi John Lennon demos the surviving Beatles dug up and polished off in the mid 90s.

        Perhaps the most poignant moment on ‘Karma For Cheap’ is the anthemic, hypnotic ‘Heart Slows Down’, a tune rife with musical and lyrical references to The Beatles and Tom Petty, anchored by an unforgettable chorus with a Traveling Wilburys vibe that finds the sweet spot between Tasjan’s two earliest musical heroes. “When I was a kid, my favorite CD to fall asleep to was Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ ‘Greatest Hits’, and the last song is a cover of that Thunderclap Newman song ‘Something In The Air’. From the time I was a little kid to when I was teenager, I used to listen to that song on headphones almost every night - I heard it in that space between wake and sleep so many times. And Tom’s passing - he was a really big hero of mine, so it hit me pretty hard. We were in Seattle playing a show when I heard, and it was a heavy thing to process. But all of those elements are there in ‘Heart Slows Down’. The chorus, ‘I will always be around,’ is a reminder that all the good you ever got out of listening to this music is still around you. You’ll always have that.”

        Aaron Lee Tasjan says he aims to use his music for good but he’s no protest singer. And ‘Karma For Cheap’ isn’t some heavy-handed, didactic political record cramming a set of talking points down anyone’s throat. It’s a finely tuned rock & roll seismograph measuring the dark and uncertain vibrations of the time in which it was created. A cracked mirror reflecting back the American zeitgeist. With ‘Karma For Cheap’ Tasjan establishes himself as an artist who not only evolves over time but isn’t afraid to risk reinventing himself completely from one record to the next.

        For fans of Tom Petty, Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, David Bowie.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Off-kilter blues-tinged ballads, whimsical but direct and comprised of huge slide guitars, White Stripes-y thumping drums and swinging, swaggering rock and/or roll.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Split orange / red coloured vinyl.

        Jason Isbell

        Sirens Of The Ditch: Deluxe Edition

          The debut album from accomplished guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell, formerly of Drive By Truckers, is reissued with four unreleased tracks from the original recording sessions. The addition of those extra songs finds ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’ clocking in at 15 total tracks.

          ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’’s mystical quality can be partially attributed to the FAME recording studio (Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman, Otis Redding) in Isbell’s hometown of Muscle Shoals, AL, where the album was recorded.

          Co-produced by Isbell and Patterson Hood (Drive By Truckers), ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’ features Isbell singing lead vocals and playing guitar throughout, joined by Shonna Tucker (formerly of Drive By Truckers) on bass and Brad Morgan (Drive By Truckers) on drums. Several musicians pop in for cameos including Spooner Oldham and David Hood (Patterson’s father) on ‘Down In A Hole’, John Neff (formerly of Drive By Truckers) on ‘Dress Blues’ and Patterson himself guests on ‘Shotgun Wedding’.

          “A strong debut, full of the kind of confident, charismatic songwriting that just can’t be taught.” - Pitckfork

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xLP Info: Double LP format pressed on 180 gram vinyl with
          digital download code included.

          Arthur Buck

          Arthur Buck

            Sometimes the catalyst for creating great art is simply being in the right place at the right time. For Arthur Buck, the new collaboration between singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur and guitarist Peter Buck, that place was Mexico and that time was the fall of 2017. Specifically, a little town off the Baja coast named Todos Santos, with the Sierra de la Laguna mountains to the east and the bright blue Pacific stretching out infinitely to the west. It is here that Buck has held the Todos Santos Music Festival for the last several years, which he created in 2012 with his wife, Chloe Johnson, shortly after R.E.M. called it a day.

            Among the many artists who have played the festival is Joseph Arthur, who also happened to leave behind a guitar - a Dobro, specifically - after his last appearance there. And so last year he made the trek down to Todos Santos to pick up the instrument. Which is where he ran into Peter Buck. That was the beginning of Arthur Buck.

            The creative result of this relationship is a vibrant 11-song collection that captures the spontaneity at the heart of the project - right down to the 1-2-3-4 count off from Buck that opens the record - with sounds and styles meshed together in an easy, almost playful manner.

            Tchad Blake was brought in to mix the proceedings and the product is the new Arthur Buck - the outcome of a shockingly productive burst of inspiration.

            Guided By Voices

            Live From Austin TX

              “Twenty-plus years... two dozen albums... twice that many bandmates... the mad genius that is Robert Pollard finally decided it was time to bring down the curtain on one of indie rock’s most innovative and, well, outrageous live bands. Certainly nobody could accuse Guided By Voices of being too tame, too mainstream, too predictable. Ever since Pollard created the ‘gang’ in Ohio in the early 1980’s with the help of his brother Jimmy and Pete Jamison (with the help of a loan to pay for the first few records), ‘lo-fi’ may be the best descriptor for their brand of bursting, raw, no-holds-barred shout-out songs.

              “The end came in 2004, after the release of their final, critically acclaimed Half Smiles of the Decomposed, and this Austin City Limits recorded on November 9, 2004 was one of their last performances. “I love the guys in the band, but I’m getting too old to be a gang leader,” Pollard said, who’s now focusing on his solo work.

              “And what a finale it was. Much of it couldn’t, wouldn’t ever be broadcast on television - public or otherwise - but it’s all here for GBV fans to savor forever. Pollard was in rare form, with buckets of beer literally and liberally decorating the stage. He always said he wanted to end the band’s decades of music on a high note. And this is it!” - Terry Lickona (producer ‘Austin City Limits’)

              “This debut ‘Austin City Limits’ performance on August 9, 2003, captures songs from Neko Case’s three seminal solo releases at the time, combining elements of country, gospel and punk for a very unique sound. That’s why pundits often find the music hard to classify. Which is a good thing. Her voice has been described as lush, torchy, melancholic - even scary (someone once wrote that ‘she sings like Patsy Cline’s ghost’). She certainly doesn’t sound like anything else on today’s hit parade.

              “Neko began her career as a drummer in a punk band, but it wasn’t long before she started experimenting with songwriting and singing. She also continues to perform as a member of The New Pornographers, but her solo work is where her songwriting skills shine most. As she herself says, ‘I want to write songs that are timeless... maybe just something more like a novel than a short story.’” - Terry Lickona (producer ‘Austin City Limits’)

              All Them Witches

              Sleeping Through The War

              Produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Rival Sons) and mixed / engineered by UK-bred young-gun Eddie Spear, All Them Witches’ ‘Sleeping Through The War’ is the quartet’s most bold and well-crafted record to date.

              The album’s creation marks the first time in the band’s history that a record was written before entering the studio. This process allowed for an alignment of the band’s art, desire and time. Convening in Nashville for only six days after a year of relentlessly touring their New West Records debut ‘Dying Surfer Meets Their Maker’, the band’s spirit coalesced in a rhythm of statement and melody that simply needs to be heard... repeatedly.

              With the guidance of Cobb and Spear, ‘Sleeping Through The War’ captures the truest energy of the group, full blast, fun and contemplative. The record was made with volume in mind. ‘Sleeping Through The War’ is meant to be played loud, cranked up and without reservation. Feel it live through your stereo system or listen to it speak in tongues through your headphones.

              The sounds are nothing without the songs and the songs are nothing without the lyrics. This record is a result of constant touring, world travel, overstimulated / divided humanity and a learning of awareness and compassion.

              “They are the real deal - psychedelic blues-rock warriors who pray at the altar of Black Sabbath, space out like Pink Floyd and shred away their bummers like Blue Cheer.” - Spin

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              2xDeluxe CD Info: This deluxe edition features 7 demo songs recorded in the bands garage on a reel to reel Tascam 388 recorder. This is an audio only deluxe. No video footage.

              Nikki Lane’s remarkably dazzling third album, ‘Highway Queen’, sees the young Nashville rebel emerge as one of country and rock’s most gifted songwriters. Produced by Lane and fellow singer-songwriter Jonathan Tyler and recorded in Denton, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, ‘Highway Queen’ is an emotional tour-de-force. Blending potent lyrics, unbridled blues guitars and vintage Sixties country-pop swagger, Lane’s new music will resonate as easily with Black Keys and Lana Del Rey fans as those of Neil Young and Tom Petty.

              ‘Highway Queen’ starts with the whiskey-soaked restlessness of ‘700,000 Rednecks’, a rowdy call to action and ends on the profoundly raw ‘Forever Lasts Forever’, where Lane belts freely, mourning a failed marriage - the “lighter shade of skin” left behind from her wedding ring.

              Lane’s journey to heartbreak takes exquisite turns. ‘Companion’ is pure Everly Brothers dreaminess (“I would spend a lifetime / Playing catch you if I can”). Elsewhere, she goes on a Vegas bender on the rollicking ‘Jackpot’, fights last-call blues (‘Foolish Heart’) and tosses out brazen one-liners at a backroom piano (‘Big Mouth’).

              Lane, a Greenville, South Carolina native, is a unique songwriter who didn’t take the traditional country artist path. Her backwoods roots are undercut by her chosen career as a fashion entrepreneur (she’s the owner of vintage clothing boutique High Class Hillbilly) who has lived - and been heartbroken - Los Angeles, New York and Nashville. So it’s no surprise that her music seamlessly crosses musical genres with lyrics steeped in the doomed perseverance only a true dark horse romantic knows.

              Lane’s rapid rise in music is thanks to the fervent critical acclaim of her debut record ‘Walk Of Shame’ and 2014’s Dan Auerbach-produced ‘All Or Nothin’’. With ‘Highway Queen’, 2017 is poised to be Lane’s major mainstream breakthrough.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Classic modern Americana, completed with Lane's soulful and swooning vocals. Slide guitar, weighty percussion and shimmering acoustic guitar mix together into driving anthemic rock-and-roll. If you liked the recent Courtney Marie Andrews album, this one is a must.

              Lily & Madeleine

              Keep It Together

              ‘Keep It Together’, the third album in just over three years by Indianapolis-based sisters Lily & Madeleine, is set for release via esteemed New West Records.

              The spellbinding ten-song statement is the dynamic product of two distinct musical personalities, bound by kinship, melding seamlessly into one ephemeral and dreamy collection.

              The sisters have come a long way since they began making YouTube videos in 2012, releasing two critically acclaimed albums on Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty Records and selling out myriad shows both in the US and overseas.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Cheery jangly Summer-pop on the newest album from singer-songwriting sisters Lily & Madeleine. Upbeat but slightly introspective, minimal pop-pieces for hazy days and sunsets. Beautiful stuff.

              Daniel Romano

              If I've Only One Time Askin

              Not quite country, Americana, folk, songwriter or pop, Daniel Romano’s exquisite and expansive new album - ‘If I’ve Only One Time Askin’’, released on New West Records - is pieces of each but ultimately the work of asingular mind.

              As hailed by Rolling Stone, the 11 self-produced and largely self-performed new songs “lead their baritone-voiced creator down a path filled with countrypolitan crooning, honky-tonk heartache and midcentury melodrama.”

              In the two years since his critically acclaimed third full length ‘Come Cry With Me’, Romano has toured North America and Europe extensively, collaborating with and supporting a wide spectrum of artists, including Old Crow Medicine Show, Wanda Jackson, Hurray For The Riff Raff and Caitlin Rose.


              The latest album, 'Heartbreak Pass', by seminal alt-country / rock band Giant Sand marks their 30th anniversary. Individually, each track on the record looms large on its own but, when heard as one complete offering, you know that you are listening to something very, very special.

              The Arizona desert has been a predominate theme and source of inspiration for Howe Gelb, the indie rock pioneer and frontman for Giant Sand. The group can also be looked at as Howe’s one-man-band with many guests and collaborators. The album features Steve Shelly (Sonic Youth), Grant-Lee Phillips and Ilse DeLange (Common Linnets). 

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Ltd LP Info: First pressing of the 180g LP is limited edition, pearl-colour vinyl.

              Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              From just south of the Appalachian mountains, in the rolling hills of Athens, GA., comes the roaring young four-piece, New Madrid. Following the critical acclaim of their 2012 independently released album Yardboat, the band signed with Normaltown records and promptly began work on their sophomore album Sunswimmer.

              Recorded during a cool, rainy july, under the direction of David Barbe (Deerhunter, Drive-by Truckers), the aural landscapes forged in sunswimmer become almost palpable. Combining reverb-drenched vocal harmonies, soaring underwater noise and floating, meandering melodies, the sounds don't exit the speakers as much as they condense and hang in the air like the humid athens summer that birthed them.

              For their fifth album, the Athens-bred/Nashville-based power trio the Whigs wanted to find the exact midpoint between raw and rehearsed. After more than a decade together - during which they’ve released four critically lauded studio albums and toured constantly as either headliners or openers for the likes of the Drive-By Truckers, Kings of Leon, and MGMT - the three members all agreed that they wanted to flex their muscles a bit: write some good songs, get them down as tight as possible, hit , and tear shit up.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              LP Info: 180 gram vinyl.

              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              Calexico

              Live From Austin, TX

                Influenced by everything from Portuguese fado, 50s jazz, gypsy music, 60s surf to spaghetti western epics, over the past decade Calexico have been creating an eclectic sound that evokes images of sunscorched rocks and windswept deserts, pulling a few surprises out of their musical bag to fill those dusty, empty landscapes with a big, big sound. This show from Austin City Limits on September 13, 2006 also sees them joined by friend and collaborator Sam Beam aka Iron & Wine (and his sister, Sarah).

                Slobberbone

                Slippage

                Formed in Denton, Texas in early 1992 Slobberbone play alternative country with a hard rockin' edge honed during their early days of bar room gigging. Produced by Don Smith, the band recorded "Slippage" in the spring of 2002 and is has all the hallmarks of that Texican americana sound.

                Jon Dee Graham

                Hooray For The Moon

                There's lots of rockin' americana coming out of Texas and the New West label has found another strong act in Jon Dee Graham. He sounds a little like a grouchy Townes Van Zandt and has a laconic style that suits this type of music like a glove.


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