I hope this season finds you happily bundled up and sipping something warm. The holidays are just around the corner, a new year is on the horizon and I’ve got a brand new album on the way! WIDDERSHINS arrives February 23, 2018.
These twelve new songs were recorded in Nashville last May. Drummer Jerry Roe and bassist Lex Price, both so integral to the sound of The Narrows, have returned and the results are even more explosive this time around. A lot of this comes from the confidence of us having worked together before and the great interplay we have as a trio. The songs themselves have a lot of fire as well. With all that we’ve witnessed here in the United States, it’s been one rollercoaster of a year. The album is a reflection of this. It bares the imprint of when it was created and what it feels like to be living in such an age, our ears forever turned to the latest jarring event like deer in the forest.
As with my many solo works, I produced the new album, which I’ve come to see as an a natural extension of my writing, performing and recording. I had the pleasure of recording at Nashville’s Sound Emporium alongside engineer Michael Stankiewicz. Mike did an awesome job at getting the sounds in the very room where R.E.M. cut the album Document and Kenny Rogers cut The Gambler! To mix the album producer/engineer/mixer Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket) came aboard. Working from his own Flora Recording And Playback up in Portland, Oregon, Tucker shaped the sound and brought the ship safely into harbor. His final mixes were then assembled and mastered by John Baldwin Mastering in Nashville. You can hear the track Totally You Gunslinger, off the album on several streaming formats now, including but not limited to itunes
WIDDERSHINS is an old word, meaning counter-clockwise or moving counter to the sun. The Old World had a lot of superstitions about this concept. The Old World was easily spooked. And yet the past has plenty to teach us so that we might learn from our mistakes, carry forth some wisdom and avoid banging our heads on the same old stalactites. I chose this title because it invoked questions about our direction and the choices before us – the things I was writing about. My wife, Denise Siegel, took the surreal photograph featured on the album cover.
Yep Roc Records is now taking Pre-orders for WIDDERSHINS. Early birds will be among the first to hear the album and hold the CD or LIMITED TRANSLUCENT VINYL in hand. A limited number of CDs and LPs will be signed. With every Pre-order of the album purchased through the Yep Roc store, the label will include a free copy of my exclusive WIDDERSHINS DEMOS CD. This 5 song EP companion is a collection of some of my home demos for this album. Just me and the guitar, recorded informally as soon as I felt I had the words down on the page. I’m often amazed at all the information that’s baked in when I go back and listen to these first impressions, no matter how raw they may be. Songs certainly evolve and benefit from refinement but the demos are like the candle that lights the path. The EP package incorporates my original artwork, making for very handmade feel to this limited edition.
To coincide with the release of WIDDERSHINS, artist Matthew Jay Fleming was commissioned to create a special poster, which I’ll also be signing. It features a wildly animated wooden horse, rearing up in full Hi-ho-Silver glory. It definitely evokes the spirit of this album! Matt designed a beautiful 18 X 24” silkscreen poster as well as a T shirt with the wooden horse image. These items are available from the Yep Roc store. You can purchase the poster or shirt individually or as a nicely-priced bundle with the LP or CD.
Tickets for my 2018 Tour are now on sale for my April performances in the UK. Full European and North American dates will be added in the days ahead. ( Full details: )
I wish you a peaceful time during this holiday season, whether it be spent in reflection or celebration.
My best, Grant-Lee Phillips