The past weekend was a good one for Single Lock’s artists who appeared at the storied Newport Folk Festival!
Check out this piece from The Boston Globe, that shouts out Cedric Burnside. Cedric also appeared at the Steal Your Folk late-night party, jumping on stage to jam with Phil Lesh of The Grateful Dead!
Erin Rae also made her presence felt at Newport. She appeared at the festival as part of Rita Houston’s The Future is Female showcase and sat in with a number of other artists, including an appearance at Hiss Golden Messenger’s afterparty.
Finally, you couldn’t walk ten feet without seeing the great Nicole Atkins lending her voice to numerous artists— as well as holding it down at the Steal Your Folk afterparty.
See you next year!
In honor of the one-year anniversary of Erin Rae’s “Putting On Airs” (and her Americana nomination for EMERGING ACT OF THE YEAR), we’re proud to share “Putting On Airs 4-Track Demos”, a brand-new EP of early versions of her most beloved songs from “Putting On Airs”…
Click here to listen!
Quote from Erin Rae:
These songs were recorded at Jerry’s house in Philly in the couple days after we returned from our first UK tour in 2016: After listening to everything Jerry played us in the van, and getting to play together with him and Dom for a month, it seemed only natural to try and make the new record together. I recorded acoustic versions, and after I went back to Nashville, Jerry recorded all the additional instruments which led me to trust him to make Putting on Airs with me. These recordings are very dear to me, I think both of our performances are very natural and pure.
Quote from Jerry Berhnardt:
Erin and I had just returned home from a lengthy tour of the U.K., where we had spent a lot of our down time loosely conceptualizing the palette for her next LP. She had a head full of incredible new material, so when we got back to Philly post-tour, I just set her up in my living room on my little Tascam 4 track and rolled tape. She did four new songs that night: Putting on Airs, The Grand Scheme, The Real Thing, and Can't Cut Loose. The perspective of these songs seemed other worldly to me, like some thousand year old voice speaking truths that we as humans might not yet know that we already know. "How small we are in the grand scheme, how great"....come on!
With that in mind, we started to run with this sort of universal "lost and found" treatment to the songs, while keeping within the confines of four track cassette; this notion of wisdom you might find in the pocket of your favorite new Goodwill™ jacket. I added some bits and bobs to Erin's guitar/vocal performances to varying degrees, from more abstract sound collage all the way to some janky fake band that never was. We both felt really strongly about the world we created within these recordings, and carried their ethos into the proper album sessions with Dom and Dan that would soon follow.
Erin Rae has been nominated for EMERGING ACT OF THE YEAR at the 2019 Americana Music Awards!
Seems like a good time to remind you that her debut full-length for Single Lock, Putting On Airs, is available for your discovery or rediscovery right here!
We're proud to announce that we're releasing a new record from Exotic Dangers on May 24th! It's called "Nine is Fine" and it rises from the garages of Northwest Alabama to deliver a live, direct-to-tape, full-throttle rock-and-roll experience!
Pre-save the album today: https://orcd.co/exoticdangers
We’re excited to announce that we will return to Austin this year for SXSW 2019! Come by Cooper’s BBQ (217 Congress Avenue, right next to the JW Marriott downtown) on Friday night, March 15th to hear The Prescriptions, Nicole Atkins, Erin Rae, John Paul White, The Kernal, and recent GRAMMY nominee Cedric Burnside. Your SXSW badge or wristband will get you free entry, but anyone is welcome to pay the nominal cover charge at the door. We’ll see you there!
Today, we’re announcing that we’ve signed Nashville rock band The Prescriptions to Single Lock! We’ll release their debut record, Hollywood Gold at digital retailers and streaming services on April 5th. Right now, you can find 4 full songs from the record at your favorite streaming service. Go check it out!
To pre-save the record, click here. The band will also perform at Single Lock’s 2019 SXSW Showcase (Friday, March 15th at Cooper’s BBQ in Austin) and will open for John Paul White in Atlanta and Birmingham this May.
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 Home” today. 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
10. My Dreams Have All Come True
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.
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
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
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!!
“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!
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
If you’re in Nashville this week, don’t miss our incredible artists!!
If you haven't preordered your copy of Benton County Relic, you should get that done! Preorders through Single Lock come signed by the man himself! Head to our shop to get one!
“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.