Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Upcoming Yep Roc releases: Dave Alvin, Peter Case, Fountains of Wayne

No wonder I'm always an earful behind? The releases keep on coming and more are on the way. Here are some highlights of recent announcements to land in my inbox from Yeproc Records.

Dave Alvin will release his next studio album titled Eleven Eleven on June 21, 2011. Eleven Eleven, which includes 11 tracks and for the first time ever (listen up Blasters fans), finds Dave singing a duet with his brother Phil Alvin.

Here are some highlights of the details on the Yep Roc Records Web site:

Yep Roc Records is excited to announce the upcoming release of Dave Alvin's new studio album titled Eleven Eleven on June 21. Eleven Eleven, described as the "King of California's" most driving, electric blues and rock oriented album since 2004's critically acclaimed Ashgrove, includes 11-tracks, for the first time in his career, written and recorded on the road and during breaks while on tour. The album features a host musicians Alvin had not recorded with since his days in The Blasters, and for the first time ever, sings on record with his brother Phil, the lead singer of The Blasters. A full U.S. summer tour in support is to be announced.

While the backing cast varies with different musicians at sessions separated by weeks of time, the one constant is Alvin's assured guitar-playing. Whether it's finger-picking on an acoustic against an accordion on "No Worries Mija" or blazing riffs on electric over a Bo Diddley beat on "Run Conejo Run," Eleven Eleven casts a consistent gritty, bluesy feel from start to finish. The result is an album with songs rich in vivid stories, taking listeners on a bounty hunt in "Murrietta's Head," a tawdry scene of seduction in "Dirty Nightgown" and a true crime recollection in "Johnny Ace is Dead." Dave's guitar work punctuates each tale, reinforcing moments of urgency, remorse and reflection.

"The songs on Eleven Eleven are all about life, love, death, loss, money, justice, labor, faith, doubt, family and friendship. The usual stuff," said Alvin. "Mortality has been an issue on my mind ever since Ashgrove. Since finishing that album, I lost some great friends - Chris Gaffney, Amy Farris and Buddy Blue of the Beat Farmers. That weighed on me."

The album reunites Dave with pianist Gene Taylor, whose barrelhouse blues sound has not been heard on an Alvin project since the final Blasters album, 1985's "Hard Line," and features three duets: brother Phil Alvin and Dave on the simmering blues "What's Up With Your Brother"; Dave and Christy McWilson from the Guilty Women on the gentle country number "Manzanita" and the whimsical song, "Two Lucky Bums," the final recording of Dave and his best friend, the late Chris Gaffney. The rest of the material, rich in stories that stretch from R&B royalty to labor history to Harlan County in Kentucky, was written over the course of seven months.

Recently, Alvin released the first single from the new album set, "Harlan County Line." The song, now available on iTunes, was written and recorded specifically for the FX television series Justified, fictionally based in Harlan County, KY. Alvin and his band appeared in an episode earlier this season (episode 3 titled "The I of the Storm"), performing during a barroom scene.

Combining elements of blues, folk, R+B, rockabilly, Bakersfield country and garage rock and roll with lyrical inspiration from local writers and poets like Raymond Chandler, Gerald Locklin and Charles Bukowski, Alvin has mixed his varied musical and literary influences into his own unique, updated version of traditional American music. "My songs are just like California," says Alvin. "A big, messy melting pot."

Peter Case work featured on 'The Case Files'

The Case Files collects demos, out-takes, a live shot & other rarities from the 1985-2010 span of Peter Case's solo career. Compiled by Peter himself, this collection combines rockin' full band electric tracks with a selection of dynamic acoustic performances. The Case Files is available now on CD and pink vinyl LP from Alive Records.

The Case Files Track Listing:

1.(Give Me) One More Mile
2.Let's Turn This Thing Around
3.Anything (Closing Credits)
4.The End
5.Good Times, Bad Times
6.Milkcow Blues
7.Kokomo Prayer Vigil
8.The Ballad Of The Minimum Wage
9.Steel Strings (Demonstration)
10.Trusted Friend
11. Black Crow Blues
12.Round Trip Stranger Blues

Fountains of Wayne to release 'Sky Full of Holes' on August 2

Fountains of Wayne sign to Yep Roc, plan to release new album in August.

Fountains Of Wayne's long-awaited new album, Sky Full Of Holes, will be released in the US on August 2, 2011 via Yep Roc Records. This is the acclaimed band's first new release since 2007's Traffic And Weather.

Recorded in New York City, Sky Full Of Holes features 13 new songs by Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger, ranging from high-energy power pop to intimate, acoustic-driven ballads. Songs like "The Summer Place," "Action Hero" and "Richie And Ruben" showcase the band's renowned storytelling abilities and flair for creating memorable characters; elsewhere, they take a more impressionistic approach, as in the shimmering "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart," the lilting "Firelight Waltz" and the elegaic closer "Cemetery Guns." In signature FOW fashion, the album manages to be simultaneously witty and wistful, imaginative and personal.

Formed in New York in 1996, Fountains Of Wayne took its name from an iconic garden store in nearby Wayne, NJ (which, sadly, closed recently). The band has received steady critical accolades since its inception; "Dean Of American Rock Critics" Robert Christgau has called them "lyric poets" and "true art heroes." The group's line-up, which also includes guitarist Jody Porter and drummer Brian Young, has remained unchanged since they toured in support of their 1996 self-titled debut album. FOW were nominated for two Grammys, including a slightly belated Best New Artist nod, in 2003, after scoring a hit with their third album, Welcome Interstate Managers.

Sky Full Of Holes is the band's fifth full-length release, not including 2005's two-disc B-side compilation Out-Of-State Plates. Produced by Collingwood and Schlesinger, it was mixed by longtime collaborator John Holbrook, who also worked on Welcome Interstate Managers and Traffic And Weather.

The band will tour extensively in support of the new album, beginning with a string of US dates in August and September.

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