"The Hurting Kind" - the new record from John Paul White, out April 12

JohnPaulWhite-TheHurtingKind.jpg

Grammy Award winner John Paul White confirms the release of his new album, The Hurting Kind, due April 12 on Single Lock Records—pre-order the album here. White is also sharing the first single The Long Way Hometoday. The Record Store Day vinyl edition of The Hurting Kind, featuring a bonus 7" is available starting April 13 only at independent record stores. See recordstoreday.com for more information and to find a store near you.

Leading up to the sessions for The Hurting Kind, White was inspired by artists like Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Chet Atkins and Bill Porter. Drawing on these timeless influences, White sought out classic writers like Whisperin’ Bill Anderson and Bobby Braddock to collaborate with. “Coming out of each and every one of these situations, I got a resounding thumbs-up that I was on that right track,” says White of the collaborations. “I didn’t need anybody else’s approval after that.”

The Hurting Kind was recorded at Sun Drop Sound, White’s new home studio that he converted from an old, turn-of-the-century home in the historic district of Florence, AL, and at legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. The record was co-produced with Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes) and features additional contributions from a core group of musicians including Jon Radford (Leigh Nash, Odessa) and Reed Watson on drums, Pat Bergeson (Chet Atkins, Emmylou Harris) on electric guitar, Jon Estes (Robyn Hitchcock, Kesha) and David Hood (Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section) on bass and Lillie Mae (Jack White) on fiddle, plus guest vocals from Lee Ann Womack and background vocals from Erin Rae and The Secret Sisters.

With The Hurting Kind, White draws on the lush, orchestrated music made in Nashville in the early 1960s, writing about overwhelming love, unraveling relationships and the fading memory of a loved one.

“I approached this album differently on the songwriting side before I ever got into the studio,” says White. “I really wanted there to be a torch song quality to it, the classic timeless quality. To not be afraid of the big note, and not be afraid of the drama.”

White grew up in tiny Loretto, Tennessee, and now lives in Florence, Alabama, not far from Muscle Shoals. He has cultivated his career in Nashville for two decades, first as a songwriter for a major publisher, then as half of The Civil Wars—a groundbreaking duo that won four Grammy Awards before disbanding in 2012. White’s collaborations include contributions to recordings by Rodney Crowell, Hiss Golden Messenger, Rosanne Cash, Jason Isbell, Candi Staton and Emmylou Harris, and production work with Lera Lynn, Lindi Ortega, Dylan LeBlanc, Penny & Sparrow and Donnie Fritts’ Oh My Goodness, which also marked White’s debut as a producer. White is also a partner in Single Lock Records, an independent record label based in Florence, Alabama.

In 2016, White released Beulah to widespread critical acclaim with Rolling Stone praising, “the strength of White’s songwriting lies in the masterful balance he strikes between character and confession.” The Hurting Kind is White’s third solo album.

JOHN PAUL WHITE—THE HURTING KIND

1. The Good Old Days
2. I Wish I Could Write You a Song
3. Heart Like a Kite
4. Yesterday’s Love
5. The Long Way Home
6. The Hurting Kind
7. This Isn’t Gonna End Well (featuring Lee Ann Womack)
8. You Lost Me
9. James
10. My Dreams Have All Come True

Announcing a new record from Caleb Elliott!

Caleb Elliott Album Cover_text.jpg

Louisiana singer/songwriter Caleb Elliott will release his debut album Forever To Fade on March 8th on Single Lock Records. On the album's twelve tracks, Elliott layers soulful string scores over that booming, dirty-sweet groove that gave name to the Muscle Shoals Sound and John Cale-inspired arrangements. 

First single "Makes Me Wonder" is available today. The track opens with a lush 70s-era symphonic soul string score and quickly gives way to an in-the pocket beat overlayed with Diaphanous organ, electric sitar and glockenspiel riffs.  

Listen to "Makes Me Wonder" HERE.

In 2018, Spotify highlighted Caleb Elliott's song "Get Me Out Of Here," which was added to numerous playlists including the prestigious "Fresh Folk" and "Chill As Folk" playlists. The song has been heard over 300,000 times to date in over 77 countries.

This swamp-art-rock record bridges the distance between the classically-trained sideman Elliott was to the songwriting frontman he's become; the 480 miles between his musical origins in Natchitoches Louisiana and a gothic upbringing inside a cult-style religion to finding mental and artistic liberation. 

"Caleb brings a really impressive arsenal of tools and talents, and his songs don't always follow the typical rules or structures of a lot of singer-songwriters,"  says Tanner.  "They usually surprise me in where they go melodically, harmonically, or structurally." 

While riding in the backseats of tour vans with Nicole Atkins, Dylan LeBlanc and Travis Meadows, and backing other artists like Lera Lynn, John Paul White, Donnie Fritts and Sean McConnell in the studio, Elliott never stopped writing his own materials. To record Forever To Fade, he joined forces with Tanner and Alabama Shakes bassist Zac Cockrell, while John Paul White added backing vocals. Forever to Fade shows he's ready to take the wheel.

Track List:

01) Makes Me Wonder

02) Burns Like Hell

03) Get Me Out Of Here

04) Forever to Fade

05) On Your Won

06) Till The Tides Turn

07) Are You Ready

08) Try

09) Old Souls 

10) Don't Go Losing Your Head

11) El Paso

12) Black Lungs

Tour Dates (supporting Sean McConnell):

03/07 - Carborro, NC @ Cat's Cradle

03/08 - Charlotte,NC @ The Evening Muse

03/09 - Richmond, VA @ Richmond Music Hall

03/10 - Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern

03/13 - New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge

03/14 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott

03/15 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd

03/16 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle

03/17 - Uncasville, CT @ Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun

03/20 - Buffalo, NY @ The 9th Ward

03/21 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern

03/22 - Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark

03/23 - Indianapolis, IN @ Hi -Fi

03/24 - Chicago, IL @ Schuba's

05/02 - Houston, TX @ The Rustic

05/03 - Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater

05/04 - New Braunfels, TX @ River Road Ice House

05/08 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa

05/09 - Birmingham AL @ Workplay Theatre

05/10 - Atlanta, GA @ The Loft

05/11 - Nashville, TN @ Basement East

Cedric Burnside earns a GRAMMY Nomination for "Benton County Relic"

CedricBurnside-LP1-1.jpg

Congratulations to Cedric Burnside for today's GRAMMY Award Nomination for his brilliant record, "Benton County Relic" in the Best Traditional Blues Album category. 

It is Cedric's 2nd Grammy nomination, and it's the first Grammy nomination for Single Lock Records. To say we are proud would be an understatement!

Thank you to the Recording Academy / GRAMMYs and to voters nationwide for recognizing Cedric's gifts and this remarkable piece of music. 

Now... let's win this thing!

ORDER BENTON COUNTY RELIC TODAY!!

A New Song from John Paul White

85940007 2.jpg

“I’m excited to announce the release of my newest song, “My Dreams Have All Come True.”

Kris Kristofferson made a living out of writing songs that said “I get it. I’m no good for you. You deserve better. But...don’t go quite yet.” This is my version of that type of moment. 

I wanted to write a complex song about a complex situation. Lots of changes, lots of elements. I wanted it to ebb and flow, like any relationship. It HAD to be a waltz. There was a conscious effort to keep the singer calm - almost soothing, comforting - as he explains that he knows where they’re heading.

In the bridge, I deliberately sought to convey something slightly different than the rest of the song. A moment where the singer isn’t quite as nonchalant, and reveals he’s falling apart. And then with the final line, he pulls himself together, and accepts his fate.

Because he always knew it was coming. 

This is a moment where I’m being completely self-indulgent and embracing so many of the things I love in a song: complexity; dynamics; nuance; drama; guarded and raw emotion. Orbison, Cline, Slim Whitman - they’re all here - along with Kris and Chet Atkins and Bill Porter. I’m letting go of my apprehension about being over the top and a “showoff”.

This is the beginning of a wellspring of unguarded music sprung from all the things I’ve ever loved. This fills the void in the music I hear around me. 

I also just love a sad song with a happy title.”

To hear “My Dreams Have All Come True”, click here!

Introducing Caleb Elliott

Caleb Elliott EP FRONT_white3000x3000.jpeg

Today, we're excited to introduce you to Caleb Elliott. Caleb is one of the unsung heroes of the "new Muscle Shoals sound"-- if you've heard strings on any of our label's releases, Caleb likely played a part in that. 

What you may not know, though, is that Caleb is an accomplished singer-songwriter of his own, and he cut a remarkable new record at our studios earlier this year.

For now, we'd like to introduce you to Caleb with "Get Me Out Of Here", a brand-new single that's available digitally worldwide today: smarturl.it/calebelliott

Catch Caleb on tour with Gaz Coombes of Supergrass in Sep/Oct! Dates at calebelliott.com/tour/

Donnie Fritts announces "June" a new album in tribute to Arthur Alexander

SL025_3k.jpg

“Well I met him when I was only sixteen
We could not believe how the big man could sing
And to our surprise he wrote his own tunes
Oh what a talent, the man we called “June””

June is the title of the new record from Donnie Fritts, a personal and emotional tribute to his best friend, the late, great Muscle Shoals R&B legend Arthur Alexander. Recorded in the evenings at the original location of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, June feels like cracking open an old photo album and flipping through it’s pages. It’s a deeply poignant and moving tribute to a fallen friend.

“His name was Arthur Alexander, Junior,” Fritts explains. “That’s why we called him June.”

June opens with the title track, a song that Fritts penned in 1993 on the ride back to Muscle Shoals from the Nashville hospital where Alexander succumbed to complications from a heart attack. “My heart was broken, but I wanted to express how I felt about him,” Fritts says. “So I did it the only way I knew how— I wrote a song for him.”

That song appears for the first time as the title track to this record. What follows is a collection of Alexander standards, including a haunting rework of Alexander’s groundbreaking classic “You Better Move On”, a song that kickstarted the Muscle Shoals music industry.

“It was the first R&B hit record to come out of the Muscle Shoals area,” Fritts explains. “Groups like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles loved June’s songs.  They recorded a few of them, too.”  (The Stones released their version of “You Better Move On” in the US on December’s Children (And Everybody’s) in 1965.)

The personnel from Fritts’ critically acclaimed 2015 release, Oh My Goodness, return to backup the “Alabama Leaning Man” on June:  John Paul White on guitar and vocals, David Hood on bass, Ben Tanner on keyboards, Reed Watson on drums and Kelvin Holly on electric guitar.  Laura and Lydia Rogers from The Secret Sisters provide harmonies, while Kimi Samson and Caleb Elliott provide violin and cello, respectively.  White and Tanner return as co-producers.

That band gets an opportunity to stretch out on songs like “I’d Do It Over Again”, a track co-written by Alexander, Fritts and Dan Penn and recorded by Marshall Crenshaw for Adios Amigo, a 1994 Alexander tribute album, and “Come Along With Me”, an Alexander/Fritts tune that first appeared on Alexander’s 1972 self-titled Warner Brothers LP.

“He always encouraged me to write songs, so when I wrote my first song I showed it to him,” Fritts says.  “He really bragged on it.  It made me feel so good and really encouraged me to keep writing.”

The emotional apex of June may appear on “Thank God He Came”, an Alexander/Fritts gospel rave-up that closed Alexander’s ’72 self-titled LP, but raises the stakes on June— reaching for the heavens with the voices of veteran Shoals session singers Cindy Walker and Marie Lewey anchoring Kelvin Holly’s sprawling guitar solo, Ben Tanner’s Hammond organ and the propulsive rhythm section of David Hood and Reed Watson.  Amen, indeed.

June closes with “Adios, Amigo”, an appropriate tip-of-the-cap written by Fritts and Penn that originally appeared as the title track for the aforementioned 1994 Alexander tribute.  On June, it’s Fritts at his Wurlitzer electric piano singing to his best friend.  The album finishes the way it starts— one legendary songwriter to singing to another.

“It was such an honor to do this album,” Fritts explains.  “I hope this album will mean as much to listeners as it does to me and my family.” 

Donnie Fritts is a Florence, Ala. native and one of many local musical luminaries. He’s a lauded songwriter, noted for his tracks “We Had It All” (recorded by scores of artists from Waylon Jennings and Dolly Parton to Ray Charles) and “Breakfast in Bed” which he co-wrote with Eddie Hinton for Dusty Springfield’s album Dusty in Memphis. He played and travelled with Kris Kristofferson’s band for nearly 20 years, and has released four previous albums-- Prone to Lean, Everybody’s Got a Song, the Dan Penn-produced One Foot in the Groove and Oh My Goodness, his first release for Florence, Alabama’s Single Lock Records.

Lera Lynn's "Plays Well With Others", out June 22nd on Single Lock!

We're excited to announce a new project from  Lera Lynn . It's called "Plays Well With Others", and it's a duets record featuring  John Paul White ,  Dylan LeBlanc ,  Nicole Atkins ,  Shovels and Rope ,  Peter Bradley Adams ,  Rodney Crowell (Official) ,  JD McPherson  and  Andrew Combs .  "Plays Well With Others" will release on CD and digital platforms on June 22, and a vinyl LP release will follow on July 27th.  Pre-order yours today:   smarturl.it/LeraLynnPWWO

We're excited to announce a new project from Lera Lynn. It's called "Plays Well With Others", and it's a duets record featuring John Paul WhiteDylan LeBlancNicole AtkinsShovels and RopePeter Bradley AdamsRodney Crowell (Official)JD McPherson and Andrew Combs.

"Plays Well With Others" will release on CD and digital platforms on June 22, and a vinyl LP release will follow on July 27th.

Pre-order yours today:  smarturl.it/LeraLynnPWWO

Hear a new Lera Lynn song featuring John Paul White at NPR

llapproved-songbirdsphotoonly_wide-6164354cc3a790743827cd769d5bde550254cbf6-s1600-c85.png

With three solo albums to her credit, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Lera Lynn is returning with a new release that more than speaks to the power of collaboration. She's collaborated before on songwriting with T-Bone Burnett and Rosanne Cash, and on her new album, Plays Well With Others, Lynn has taken the collaboration to the nth degree. On Plays Well, Lynn, who had an incredible career-altering moment in HBO's True Detective, teams up with eight different duet partners and seven co-writers on this stunning new collection of duets.

Almost every song on the new album is completely co-written and co-sung. Peter Bradley Adams, John Paul White, Dylan LeBlanc, Andrew CombsRodney Crowell, Shovels & Rope, JD McPherson, and Nicole Atkins all make appearances, and worked alongside Lynn to perform and create the songs.

Read more and hear "Lose Myself feat. John Paul White" at NPR!  Click here.

Erin Rae's "Putting on Airs", in stores worldwide June 8!

ErinRae_PuttingOnAirs_1500px.jpg

MARKING THE ARRIVAL OF A STUNNING NEW VOICE FROM THE AMERICAN SOUTH, ERIN RAE WILL RELEASE HER HIGHLY ANTICIPATED NEW ALBUM PUTTING ON AIRS, JUNE 8 ON SINGLE LOCK RECORDS.  PREORDER IT BY CLICKING HERE.

Rae, whose genre-fusing mix of traditional folk, indie-rock, and 1960s psych-rock production has landed her collaborations with artists like Margo Price and Andrew Combs – not to mention critical attention from the world’s top music media, including Rolling Stone, NPR, and the BBC -- is finally stepping out into the spotlight with Putting On Airs. A forthcoming NPR World Café session and a busy tour schedule, including spring support dates with the Mountain Goats and Margo Price, and an appearance at End Of The Road Festival in the UK, shows Erin Rae’s star is on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic.

Buoying the release is Rae’s reputation as an enthralling live performer, which has earned her the respect of Nashville peers and music notables alike, including Grammy Award winner John Paul White, who has signed her to his Florence, Alabama-based label, Single Lock Records. Rae joins a Single Lock roster that includes Nicole Atkins, St. Paul And The Broken Bones, and White himself, who said “When I first heard Erin’s compelling voice, I knew nothing about her. It was live, with no intro (she was opening for friends of mine), and I was instantly transfixed. I couldn’t wait to engage, and that’s something I very seldom feel, much less do. I was thrilled to find out her personality was as engaging as her voice and songs, and that she was looking for a home. I couldn’t be happier to be hitching our wagons together.”

Rae describes “Can’t Cut Loose” as “a song about romanticizing addiction in all of its forms, from substances to love and relationships. I wrote this song to that incessant longing voice in my head that tells me I need something else to make me feel different or better.”

Gifted with the unique ability to fuse musical genres and influences to craft songs that feels fresh and wholly her own, with Putting On Airs, Rae has thrown down a direct challenge to the stereotype of what a southern singer should be. Both musically and lyrically, she strikes a fiercely independent chord, proudly releasing a deeply personal record that reflects her own experience and upbringing in Tennessee, including the prejudices and injustices that she witnessed as a child that continue to impact her life to this day, including her personal struggle to understand her own sexuality. According to Rae, "this album was born out of a need to do some healing work in my personal life, to address some fears, and patterns of mine and allow my true feelings to come to the surface."

The isolated environment created the perfect setting for Erin and her bandmates to track these genre-busting songs, using the chapel and other unique spaces within the cavernous building to explore new sonic boundaries, all while continuing to showcase Erin’s trademark vocals and the song-serving restraint first heard on her critically-acclaimed 2015 debut album, Soon Enough (engineered and produced by Anderson East and Mike Rinne).

The unique sound of the record is inspired by the innovative 1960s European production techniques from artists like the Beatles and Francoise Hardy, paired alongside the restraint and minimalism of modern artists like Wilco, Richard Hawley, and ≈, bridging the sonic gap between classic songwriting and a modern indie-rock ethos. The album was co-produced by engineer Dan Knobler (Rodney Crowell, Tift Merritt) and multi-instrumentalist Jerry Bernhardt. Dominic Billett also served an integral role in the collective that worked together to create the album’s innovative and varied sonic pallet, providing the perfect soundscape for Erin’s soothing vocals, bathing everything in the warmth and purity that has become her trademark sound.

Alongside “Can’t Cut Loose,” preview track “Like The First Time” was released in 2017 around her sell-out UK tour, drawing strong support from Spotify, as well as critical acclaim from British media, including the BBC and tastemakers Line Of Best Fit and Gold Flake Paint. Discussing the track, Rae explained that “I wrote this while I was kicking myself for acting against my own desires in an attempt to gain approval or validation to take the loneliness away. It just made me feel worse, which is a lesson I’ve had to relearn time and time again, and I think other folks do this, too. It’s that internal thought process of “if I just see this person one more time, maybe we’ll figure it out and make it work, and maybe I can make sure you think well of me, and speak well of me to other people.” Maybe that’s being too direct and clear, but I think so many of us have these little ulterior motives that get mixed in with attraction and lust. A driving force behind this record is the process of me trying to get honest with myself about when these feelings are at play, and waiting to act on them until I have more clarity and they feel like they are coming from a healthy place.