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Jeffrey Gaines; Photo Credit: Joe Cicak
Soulful singer-songwriter/guitarist Jeffrey Gaines returns on January 26th with his first collection of new songs in 15 years. The LP, titled Alright, is his first Omnivore Recordings release and his first set of new studio material since 2003’s Toward the Sun.
The new album features ten irresistible examples of the Philadelphia-based artist’s personally charged songcraft, performed with the same effortless exuberance that’s long been a hallmark of Gaines’ artful recordings and his dazzling live performances.
Recorded in Los Angeles with producer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Price (whose production resume includes acclaimed recent comeback efforts by Emitt Rhodes and Linda Perhacs, as well as his own widely celebrated second solo effort, Stop Talking), Alright features an all-star studio band consisting of guitarist Val McCallum (Jackson Browne, Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams), bassist Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello, Cracker, John Hiatt), and drummer Pete Thoma*s (Elvis Costello, *Squeeze, Elliott Smith), who also record on their own as Jackshit.
Alright vibrates with positivity and enthusiasm, lending an unmistakable immediacy to such effervescent new Gaines originals as “Feel Alright,” “Firefly Hollow,” “Seems to Me”, and “Frowned Upon.” The new songs showcase Gaines’ sublime melodic gifts, his vivid lyrical insight and ingratiating performing skills, while drawing strength from the unmistakable chemistry of the studio team, which cut all of the album’s backing tracks in a marathon three-day session.
Throughout his two-and-a-half-decade recording career, Jeffrey Gaines has maintained an impressive standard for soul-searching, introspective lyrics, and catchy, uplifting melodies. Since bursting on the scene with his self-titled 1992 debut album, the charismatic singer-songwriter/guitarist has built a beloved body of recordings that’s won him a large and deeply devoted international fan base.
The Big Takeover is delighted to premiere the cheekily titled, but lyrically bittersweet “Bjorn Toulouse.” A reflective and world-weary Gaines ruminates about a lost love against a measured drum beat, buoyed by sustained strings, light percussion, acoustic guitar strokes, and reverb guitar notes.
Gaines explains the meaning behind the song: ““What’s it all about”? It’s as if Alfie Elkins was speaking through me or something. Sometimes the echoes of your actions cast a stifling shadow on your ability to ever escape past. lt’s a very new song and its lyrics were still being written as the recording was still in progress. I’ve never played it live at a show and haven’t a clue where it will land. It’s a divine and tragic comedy take on, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
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