“There’s definitely a change in attitude, but it’s the same point of view.” That’s how John Moreland responded when asked if his latest album, Big Bad Luv, was a happier record. We’re sure there would have been some raised eyebrows if he’d have said otherwise. Big Bad Luv will mark his 4AD debut in what has been pitched as his first international release. Talking about the lyricism that attracted him from punk to country and folk at a young age he told 4AD:
“I was 19 in 2004, and Steve Earle had put out The Revolution Starts Now, and I remember hearing the song ‘Rich Man’s War’ and totally feeling like somebody just punched me in the chest”.
At the beginning of last year, his two albums In the Throes (2013) and High on Tulsa Heat (2015) got a joint UK release which helped expand his UK following. By the time he was touring his last album, he was making a living from music. Like the early influence of Steve Earle, it’s Moreland’s lyricism which often grabs fans on first listen. As Mike said in his joint review of the albums when talking about his lyricism, his words are “literate and couched in poetic imagery, honest and cutting direct to the heart.” Such sentiment seems to run deep, and it’s maybe that typical reaction to his songs that have given him the confidence to shift up a gear for this new release.
“I expected to just play in the corner of the bar and have people not really pay attention, make $100, go home and go to work the next morning, doing something I didn’t like,” Moreland says. “So, yeah, I didn’t really expect to be here. But, then, on the other hand, I did. I feel like I’m good enough to be here. And I’ve always been confident, even when I probably shouldn’t have been.”
Here is his latest video for ‘It Don’t Suit Me (Like Before)’ by John Moreland, directed by Sterlin Harjo.
His fourth album, Big Bad Luv, was recorded in Little Rock, AK, and mostly with a crew of Tulsa friends: John Calvin Abney (piano and guitar), Aaron Boehler (bass), Paddy Ryan (drums), Jared Tyler (dobro) and Lucero’s Rick Steff (piano). Coming together in three sessions over ten months, which were sandwiched between touring dates and life, the final album was then mixed by GRAMMY-winning Tchad Blake, who has worked with iconic acts from Al Green to Tom Waits.
Upcoming John Moreland Tour Dates
06 – Oran Mor – Glasgow, UK
09 – Union Chapel – London, UK
11 – Les Etoiles – Paris, FRA
13 – Kampnagel – Hamburg, GER
14 – Passionkirche – Berlin, GER
16 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, NLD
01 – Off Broadway, St. Louis MO, US
03 – Beachland Tavern, Cleveland OH, US
04 – Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington DC, US
07 – Bowery Ballroom, New York NY, US
08 – Sinclair, Boston MA, US
09 – Le Ritz, Montreal QC, Canada
10 – Velvet Underground, Toronto ON, Canada
13 – The Ark, Ann Arbor MI, US
14 – Thalia Hall, Chicago IL, US
16 – Turf Club, Minneapolis MN, US
17 – Barnstormers at Codfish Hollow, Maquoketa IA, US
11 – George’s Majestic, Fayetteville AR, US
12 – 1884 Lounge at Minglewood, Memphis TN, US
14-16 – Forecastle Festival, Louisville KY, US
15-16 – Sloss Festival, Birmingham AL, US
18 – Grey Eagle, Asheville NC, US
19 – Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC, US
22 – Proud Larry’s, Oxford MS, US
AUGUST (til 3rd Sept)
31 – End of the Road Festival – North Dorset District, UK