New West

Steve Earle and The Dukes “Ghosts Of West Virgina” (New West)

2020-05-14T23:35:57+00:00May 14th, 2020|

Ghosts of West Virginia centers on the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed twenty-nine men in that state in 2010, making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history.  When asked about what drove him to craft his deeply evocative new album, Steve Earle says, “I thought that, given the way things are now, it was maybe my responsibility to make a record that spoke to and for people who didn’t vote the way that I did,” he says. “One of the dangers that we’re in is if people like me keep thinking that everybody who voted for Trump is a racist or an asshole, then we’re fucked, because it’s simply not true. So this is one move toward something that might take a generation to change. I wanted to do something where that dialogue could begin.”

In ten deftly drawn, roughly eloquent, powerfully conveyed sonic portraits, Earle and his long-time band the Dukes explore the historical role of coal in rural communities. More than merely a question of jobs and income, mining has provided a sense of unity and meaning, patriotic pride and purpose.

“I said I wanted to speak to people that didn’t necessarily vote the way that I did,” he says, “but that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything in common. We need to learn how to communicate with each other. My involvement in this project is my little contribution to that effort. And the way to do that – and to do it impeccably – is simply to honor those guys who died at Upper Big Branch.”

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Caroline Rose “Superstar” (New West)

2020-03-13T20:33:43+00:00March 12th, 2020|

In Stock March 17, 2020

Here comes Superstar – the bigger, badder, glitter-driven record by Caroline Rose. Written as a sequel to 2018’s Loner, the album “plays out like an epic movie about the pursuit of fame and fortune,” Rose states. “I’ve always been fascinated by this pursuit, but what’s even more fascinating is what happens when it fails.” Indeed, gone are the successful Hollywood hunks and starlets of old. Superstar chronicles a quirky anti-hero, who after receiving a wrong call from the elite hotel Chateau Marmont, decides to leave their old life behind in order to become a big Hollywood star.

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Steve Earle and the Dukes “Guy” (New West)

2019-05-24T20:05:32+00:00May 24th, 2019|

Steve Earle was nineteen and had just hitchhiked from San Antonio to Nashville in 1974. Back then if you wanted to be where the years later, Steve would be playing bass guitar in Guy’s band and flying high on what would become an indelible friendship of like-minded musicians who bonded in a kinship of stories told through song. Flash forward more than forty years to May 2016. Guy Clark had just succumbed to cancer after a long battle with Lymphoma. Guy had lived with his disease and had continued to write songs until the day he died. He also painted, built instruments and owned a guitar shop in the Bay Area. According to Earle, “You hung around with him [Guy] and knew why they call what artists do disciplines. Because he was disciplined.” The same can be said of Earle. In the fall of 2018, Steve and The Dukes went into House Of Blues studio in Nashville and recorded Guy in six days. “I wanted it to sound live…When you’ve got a catalog like Guy’s and you’re only doing sixteen tracks, you know each one is going to be strong.” Earle and his current, perhaps best-ever Dukes lineup, take on these songs with a spirit of reverent glee and invention. The tunes are all over the place and so is the band, offering max energy on such disparate entries as the bluegrass rave-up Sis Draper and the talking blues memoir of Texas 1947. Earle’s raw vocal on the sweet, sad That Old Time Feeling is heartbreaking, sounding close enough to the grave as to be doing a duet with his late friend and mentor. You can hear little hints of where Earle came from. The stark Randall Knife has the line “a better blade that was ever made was probably forged in Hell,” which wouldn’t be out of place in a Steve Earle original. Also hard to beat is The Last Gunfighter, a sardonic western saga to which Earle offers a bravura reading of the chorus: “the smell of the black powder smoke and the stand in the street at the turn of joke.” But in the end Guy leads the listener back to its beginning, namely Guy Clark, which is what any good “tribute” should do. Guy is a saga of friendship, its ups and downs, what endures. We are lucky that Earle remembers and honours these things, because like old friends, Guy is a diamond.

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All Them Witches “ATW” (New West)

2018-09-28T03:31:46+00:00September 28th, 2018|

Psychedelic but not hazy. Bluesy but not plodding. Prone to jams but not overindulgence. All Them Witches are all these things, and they push this formula farther than ever before. ATW is their fifth studio album, and every song here exists to be stretched out like an elastic band, taking pentatonic blues motifs and minor key psych dirges into extended meditations. Such is the case with “Fishbelly 86 Onions,” which plays like a two minute Black Keys song from Attack & Release turned into a gonzo freak out; complete with very emphatic vocal ad-libs and fuzzy guitar improvisations. “Diamond” is Alice in Chains in a southern swamp, its psych-dirge riffs buckling under an unwavering drone and palpable humidity. All Them Witches are not ones to take an over-cerebral approach to what works in their rock ‘n roll, and if you let your hair down a bit you’ll find ATW to have your head nodding plenty.

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Caroline Rose “Loner” (New West)

2018-05-04T01:26:59+00:00May 4th, 2018|

An obsession with money, a lover sleeping with someone else, a friend accidentally getting pregnant, misogyny, loneliness, death…This is just some of the lighthearted subject matter that make up Loner – the whimsical, darkly comedic second album from songwriter / producer Caroline Rose. Armed with an arsenal of new instruments and equipment, an ever-growing sense of “ahhh fuck it”, two years of exploration, and a wicked sense of humor, Rose delivers a set of serious songs wrapped in a sprightly, angsty pop burrito. Because, as Rose puts it, “Sometimes sad songs just need a cocktail.” Loner captures the cheeky satire, comical musings, and often jarring mood swings – sometimes goofy, sometimes emotional – that make up much of Rose’s personality. “I call it Schizodrift ,” she says sipping on a martini with her pinky out. “I want to make music that sounds as manic as I feel.” Filled with catchy synth hooks, Doors-esque Farfisa, surfy guitar, punky attitude, and depth of thought, Loner captures the energy of bands like Le Tigre and The Cramps, the style of Blondie and Devo, the artsy folk of Kate Bush and pop hooks of icons like Justin Timberlake.

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Shovels and Rope “Busted Jukebox Vol 2” (New West)

2018-02-23T22:48:38+00:00February 23rd, 2018|

Busted Jukebox Vol. 2 is the follow-up to, you’d never guess it, 2015’s Busted Jukebox Vol. 1, which featured covers of the likes of Guns n’ Roses and Elvis Costello sung by ShoRo with help from acts like Lucius and JD McPherson. This time around, some of the featured ShoRo collabs include a few from artists on the bill for next year’s ShoRo-curated High Water Festival, including Concrete Blonde’s “Joey,” co-presented by Nicole Atkins, and Brandi Carlile with “Cleanup Hitter,” a song written by Charleston’s own Bill Carson. And a local makes another appearance with “The Air That I Breathe,” a track from the Hollies reimagined by Indianola, Owen Beverly’s most recent project.

Some 2017 High Water nods are in Busted Jukebox Vol. 2, too, like John Moreland (on Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”) and Matthew Logan Vasquez, who sings “Untitled 1,” a Sigur Rós track.

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Justin Townes Earle “Kids In The Street” (New West)

2017-06-17T22:35:51+00:00June 17th, 2017|

Kids In The Street was produced by Mike Mogis, who is perhaps best known for his work with Bright Eyes on the Saddle Creek label. “When I first met a young Justin Townes Earle, it was evident then he was intent on following his own artistic path,” said label president John Allen. “As his publisher, I saw his songwriting evolve to a literary depth and swagger that maintained that unique vision. New West is very proud to release Justin’s next album of his best work yet.”

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Daniel Romano “Modern Pressure” (New West Records)

2017-05-31T23:37:00+00:00May 31st, 2017|

Modern Pressure is solo album number seven for this prolific artist. And for the most part, no two albums sound the same. He has also been in a number of bands (Attack in Black; Daniel, Fred & Julie) as well as recording under a pseudonym, Ancient Shapes. Modern Pressure was recorded in a cabin in Finnsäs, Sweden, with some additional work in Toronto. Romano produced the album, with engineering by long time collaborator, Kenneth Meehan. But otherwise, Romano is responsible for everything you hear.

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All Them Witches “Sleeping Through The War” (New West)

2017-03-05T01:44:56+00:00March 5th, 2017|

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 His 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.

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Vic Chesnutt “Drunk” (New West)

2017-02-20T00:03:27+00:00February 20th, 2017|

Double 180gm vinyl LP pressing includes bonus tracks and digital download. Vic Chesnutt was the real deal, a man who lived for music and who tirelessly deployed his impish, surly, witty, unflinching perspective in hundreds of songs featuring brilliantly unique word smithery and a profound playfulness that thumbed it’s nose at a life of seriously hard knocks. Vic’s prolific writing – chock of full of real irony, wonderful turns of phrase, humor, rage and tenderness, brutal literalism and ornate observation – constituted a truly original voice and reflected a truly indomitable spirit.

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