My 2009 release, 'Awendaw', was a a solo, stripped-down Blues record that was original and fresh but stayed in the traditional realm of acoustic style Delta Blues. I was fortunate enough to have a backer for the production end. I did the promotion on my own with virtually no resources, yet still managed to receive international airplay and critical acclaim.
This time around, I really felt the need to move in a different direction. I enlisted two of North Mississippi's finest: Jimbo Mathus and Justin Showah to produce, engineer and play. We spent 3 days in mid October at Delta Recording Service, in Como, MS jamming down on some stuff I had cooked up for the occasion. We had been talking about doing this for awhile and I just decided we'd better hit it while we had a chance to get it groovin' in the right place at the right time. Between myself and Jimbo and Justin's band, The Tri-State Coalition, we gig heavily. It's hard to find a window of opportunity.
This turned out to be the perfect situation! We locked it up and threw down live with minimal overdubs, super room vibes, amps on the verge of blowing up and plenty of fun playing music how we like it: hot, raw, and with no constraints. The results are apparent in the 11 tracks that will be released as 'Push Pilin'", the first and title cut, which is about illegal subsistence farming. This stuff is Blues, it Rocks, it pushes the envelope and also has some controversial material. In short, I think our heroes, Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside would be proud. Joey Ramone and Jimi Hendrix would approve as well. It has a Como, MS Hill Country stamp, no escaping that... or wanting to, but moves in a direction we feel will resonate with other audiences as well.
The financial need is for funding to package and manufacture copies and promote the release. Luckily, many underground networks, niche markets and International connections are in place. I am competing in Memphis, TN in the Solo/Duo category of the International Blues Challenge Feb.1-5, 2011. The goal is to have copies by then, so we haven't much time. It's just a matter of getting the word out in a world strangled by information and, frankly, a lot of music that just doesn't matter. Some Blues fans, mired in the Big City Blues sounds of the past, may not like this record. If so, good! We did our job!
The past is gone and the future is dying to be born. I am a DIY person, but feel we need a little extra push to get this music out into the world. If I can keep the ball rolling and stay in the street pushing the limits, I'm thinking that people are likely to grab on to this music and realize that our Southern Roots/Blues music is still alive and evolving and is just as, if not stronger, than ever before. I thankfully and humbly invite you to help me to do that in any way you feel you can.
-Jeff Norwood, December 2010
- (17 days)