Presenting Joseph Childress’ second LP release, following his 2013 collection of home recorded demos, The Rebirths. The tracks on this self-titled album are borne from Joseph’s adventures throughout the West: working on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, riding trains and living out of his car. Listen to ‘Whispering Tide‘, there’s a deep intimacy which can be heard on this song and throughout the album, one that will draw you in.
Romantic despair and cautious optimism are a snapshot of a modern journeyman’s life, a man who is confronting the myths of the West while attempting to create his own.
For this new record, Childress travelled to Portland to record with veteran Americana musician and producer Mike Coykendall, known for his work with artists M. Ward, Bright Eyes, Jolie Holland, She & Him and Old Joe Clarks. Joseph began with tracking guitar and vocals solo. Additional musicians Aaron Robinson (Linda Perhacs, Sean Rowe, Bridget St. John), Joey Ficken (Swords), Tom Lucas (Crooked Jades) and Coykendall layered guitars, percussion, fiddle and bass to create a hearty mountain band that pivots between spartan country, gritty pop, and outsider americana. The results are a close sound that follows in the tradition of earlier troubadours: Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Kate Wolf; and modern alt-country artists: Jason Molina, Cass McCombs and Will Oldham, without feeling derivative. The album is permeated with authenticity in his delivery of psychedelic memories and emotional landscapes. Joseph explains, “I tried to keep it very organic, not a lot of special treatments. My goal was to make it sound as if we were playing in your living room.”
Coykendall’s production, with the mixing assistance of Chris Arnold (The American Opry) and mastering by Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers), clears a spot for you along the rafters of an old barn somewhere deep in the Oregon night, allowing you to peer down and witness Joseph and his band playing for no one but themselves.