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REIGNING SOUND

Reigning Sound

Memphis In June (RSD22 EDITION)

    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2022 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

    Reigning Sound's Memphis in June is a document of Greg Cartwright and the original Memphis lineup of his garage/soul group in the pocket and on their home turf. Live from the Harbor Town Amphitheater, right on the river, they forcefully knock out a dozen songs across the bandís catalog with their friends, many of whom appeared on 2021's A Little More Time with Reigning Sound. The live album is pressed on neon orange vinyl, exclusively for Record Store Day 2022.

    Reigning Sound

    A Little More Time With Reigning Sound

      A Little More Time, Reigning Sound’s seventh proper full-length, is the original lineup’s first in-studio collaboration since 2005’s Home for Orphans LP, which Merge reissued last year. Ultimately, that 2020 reissue laid the groundwork for the outfit’s reunification. Cartwright explains, “When Merge reissued Home for Orphans, we booked a little string of shows with the original lineup. We still love to get together and play every couple years.” The short reunion tour wrapped just as pandemic hit the United States.

      Soon after, Cartwright found himself with a batch of new songs. With Reigning Sound’s current lineup based in New York City, then a COVID-19 hotspot, Cartwright made the decision to produce the new record back in Memphis—though he did regret not being able to work with the players behind 2014’s Daptone-recorded Shattered. “It was not something I anticipated, making a record with the original lineup again,” Cartwright says. “Mainly, because I had guys I was playing with, and we had an established dynamic that was working. In addition to working with old bandmates, Cartwright enlisted acclaimed producer Scott Bomar (Al Green, William Bell) at Electraphonic Recording, to produce in downtown Memphis. “Scott was in a band called Impala for many years,” Cartwright recalls. “And he also played bass with me and Jack [Yarber] on the Compulsive Gamblers’ Bluff City album.

      He has the machine I like to record on, a Scully one-inch 8-track. I’ve worked on one-inch 8-tracks for the last four records, and I’m kind of addicted.” While having 24 tracks offers up more capability for overdubs, Cartwright prefers the limitations of 8-tracks. “It’s super helpful when you get to the mixing process and your head isn’t still going, ‘What should I add?’ It helps streamline the process, and it helps so I can focus on what’s there instead of what’s not. Then I can just work on the sound.”

      For the new LP, Cartwright employed a string section, an additional percussionist, and a pedal steel player on some of the tracks. Beyond that, Coco Hames (The Ettes, Parting Gifts) sings co-lead vocals on “Just Say When.” “Let’s Do It Again,” the album’s boisterous opener, captures the mundaneness and yearning that isolation creates, but with Reigning Sound’s signature foot-stomping rock ’n’ roll. It’s also delivered with optimism and a desire to reconnect with people. Elsewhere, on tracks like “I’ll Be Your Man,” the LP decelerates and shifts into moody ballad territory. Rounding out A Little More Time is a raucous cover of Adam Faith’s “I Don’t Need That Kind of Lovin’.” The 1965 single is a longtime staple at Reigning Sound shows, but this is its first appearance on record.

      “When I write songs, it’s the melody I write first. The melody dictates what the mood is whether it’s about being happy, confused, sad, lonely… The melody speaks to a feeling. From there, my job is to translate that feeling into words. I try not to be too structured in how I think about that because the more ambiguous it is, the more people can read their own story into what you’re saying, and I think that’s important. On some level, I consciously don’t want to know what a song is about.” Ambiguities aside, the LP closes with the poignant “On and On,” a song that reminds us that despite all of the highs and lows we face, “love is still a choice… love is the only choice.” It offers a glimmer of light. These days, that’s not a bad note to end on.

      TRACK LISTING

      SIDE A

      Do It Again Real Soon
      A Little More Time
      I Don’t Need That Kind Of
      Lovin’
      I’ll Be Your Man
      Oh Christine
      Moving & Shaking

      SIDE B

      You Don’t Know What You’re
      Missing
      Make It Up
      A Good Life
      Just Say When
      You Ain’t Me
      On And On

      Reigning Sound

      Abdication... For Your Love

        Reigning Sound frontman Greg Cartwright found himself unable to refuse—despite his band’s tenuous existence at the time. “Several line-up changes had ensued after the original Memphis quartet disbanded, and I found myself considering the possibility of shedding the Reigning Sound moniker,” muses Cartwright. “I had decided to take a break to work on production for other people and write songs for The Parting Gifts, my upcoming collaboration with Coco Hames.” But now, Reigning Sound had an offer on the table, and there was no band. Besides Cartwright, the one constant of Reigning Sound’s previous three years was keyboardist Dave Amels, who was moonlighting in The Jay Vons, the Brooklyn soul combo formed by Long Island natives Michael Catanese, Benny Trokan, and Mikey Post.

        Sometimes Amels would even pull double duty at gigs where Reigning Sound and The Jay Vons shared a bill. When The Parting Gifts released their outstanding album Strychnine Dandelion in 2010, The Jay Vons opened shows for them on a brief tour. A few months later, Scion came knocking. Around the same time, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who provided guitar for the Parting Gifts record, had just moved to Nashville and was busy putting the final touches on a private studio. “Dan was eager to do some work in the new studio in preparation for an upcoming session with Dr. John, and he offered us some studio time as well as his production assistance. Tentative arrangements with Nashville players evaporated one after another due to prior engagements or last-minute snafus. 

        TRACK LISTING

        1. A Lyin’ Girl
        2. Everything I Do Is Wrong
        3. Shaw
        4. Call Me #1.
        5. Eve
        6. Watching My Baby
        7. Can’t Hold On 
        8. Not Far Away…. 


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