RIYL: Townes Van Zandt, Jackson C. Frank, Jason Molina, Kevin Morby

Label: Empty Cellar Records

Here’s a new LP from San Francisco via Colorado troubadour Joseph Childress.

I’ve been listening to the first single Virginia Bound on repeat a lot lately, so I was stoked to see it was coming out on Coke Bottle Clear(my second favorite special vinyl color after GITD, of course).

This is limited to only 500 copies total with 200 of the variants. It’s due out in October, but get on this preorder now before they are all gone.

The Details

About Joseph Childress - Self-Titled:

Presenting Joseph Childress’ second LP release, following his 2013 collection of home recorded demos, The Rebirths. The tracks on this self-titled album are borne from Joseph's adventures throughout the West: working on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, riding trains and living out of his car. His poignant lyrics about loneliness and the western landscape are right at home with a stronger country sound that defines itself on the record's opening track "My Land."

For this new record, Childress traveled to Portland to record with veteran Americana musician and producer Mike Coykendall, known for his work with artists M. Ward, Bright Eyes, Jolie Holland, She & Him and Old Joe Clarks. Joseph began with tracking guitar and vocals solo. Additional musicians Aaron Robinson (Linda Perhacs, Sean Rowe, Bridget St. John), Joey Ficken (Swords), Tom Lucas (Crooked Jades) and Coykendall layered guitars, percussion, fiddle and bass to create a hearty mountain band that pivots between spartan country, gritty pop, and outsider americana. The results are a close sound that follows in the tradition of earlier troubadours: Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Kate Wolf; and modern alt-country artists: Jason Molina, Jayhawks and Will Oldham, without feeling derivative. The album is permeated with authenticity in his delivery of psychedelic memories and emotional landscapes. Joseph explains, "I tried to keep it very organic, not a lot of special treatments. My goal was to make it sound as if we were playing in your living room."

In tracks like "White Castle Creek Mother" and "I Am the Dust”, Joseph's acoustic guitar and vocals hang in the air with such intimacy that you do feel that he's playing in a small room just for you (in fact Joseph was living and composing in a closet bedroom in San Francisco at the time these tracks were recorded). In the song "Leaving the Barren Ground" Joseph paints a picture of bitter heartbreak with lines like "You threw my love to the ground" and "This was neither of our plans/to be each other's end" that have a weary sincerity rivaling any track of Nebraska-era Springsteen. Joseph's romantic despair and cautious optimism are a snapshot of a modern journeyman's life, a man who is confronting the myths of the West while attempting to create his own. Coykendall's production, with the mixing assistance of Chris Arnold (The American Opry) and mastering by Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers), clears a spot for you along the rafters of an old barn somewhere deep in the Oregon night, allowing you to peer down and witness Joseph and his band playing for no one but themselves.

Out worldwide on October 6th of this year on LP/CD/Digital. Physical editions come in gatefold packaging featuring artwork by David Wilson. Vinyl LP is available in standard black vinyl and a single limited edition pressing of 200 copies in coke bottle green.

Purchase Link: https://emptycellarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/joseph-childress

Track Listing:
01. My Land
02. Footsteps
03. White Castle Creek Mother
04. Whispering Tide
05. Leaving The Barren Ground
06. I Am The Dust
07. 11 Mile Canyon
08. 10,000 Horses
09. Virginia Bound
10. Rebirths

About Joseph Childress:

Singer-songwriter Joseph Childress started writing and playing music in the mountains of Teller County, Colorado when he was 14 years old. Five years later – inspired by Woody Guthrie’s autobiography Bound For Glory – he strapped his guitar to his back and hopped a freight train. Dubbed a “perennial vagabond” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Joseph traveled and toured for two years, hopping trains and living in a van. His wanderings were punctuated only so he could play music, work ranch on the plains of Niobrara County, Wyoming, and rest his head in San Francisco, where he eventually settled down, married and is now a father. All the while, his self-released CDr, known to fans as “The Rebirths”, was inspiring devoted listeners around the country. Those recordings were re-mastered and released in 2013 on Empty Cellar Records.

Joseph’s music draws inspiration from his close relationships and the wild nature of the American west. Compared to Townes Van Zandt, Jackson C. Frank, Jason Molina, and Bob Dylan (his biggest influence), his emotionally charged voice captivates over guitar playing that ranges from delicate finger-style to furious strumming. Joseph Childress has played shows across the western United States with numerous acts including Joanna Newsom, Thee Oh Sees, Mount Eerie, Kevin Morby, Wooden Shjips, Devendra Banhart, Richard Buckner, Little Wings, Entrance Band, Sonny and the Sunsets, Vetiver, and many more…

Price $18

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