JOSEPH CHILDRESS - Joseph Childress LP
Presenting Joseph Childress’s second LP release, following his 2013 collection of home recorded demos, The Rebirths. The tracks on this self-titled album are borne from his adventures throughout the West: working on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, riding trains and living out of his car. His poignant lyrics about loneliness and the western landscape are right at home with a stronger country sound that defines itself on the record’s opening track “My Land.”
Childress recorded in Portland with veteran Americana musician and producer Mike Coykendall, known for his work with M. Ward, Bright Eyes, Jolie Holland, She & Him and Old Joe Clarks. He 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 follow 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).
Childress’s romantic despair and cautious optimism are a snapshot of a modern journeyman, a man who is confronting the myths of the West while attempting to create his own. Coykendall’s production, with the mixing assistance of Chris Arnold (The American Opry) and mastering by Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers), clears a spot among the rafters of an old barn deep in the Oregon night, allowing witness to Childress and his band playing for no one but themselves.