News on two big releases from the Twin Cities music scene this fall:
MASON JENNINGS: As was revealed before his Minnesota Music-on-a-Stick set at the State Fair last month, Jennings teamed with veteran Iowa producer/guitarist Bo Ramsey and members of the Pines to record his latest album. The record is titled “Always Been” and will arrive Nov. 12 via Thirty Tigers, the Nashville-based, artist-friendly label and management company that also works with Trampled by Turtles, and which issued the new albums by Jason Isbell and Matisyahu.
Jennings and Ramsey became compadres via the Pines, who toured with Mason following his last record, 2011’s “Minnesota.” Ramsey is the father of Pines members Benson and Alex Ramsey. He’s best-known as Iowa songwriting hero Greg Brown’s chief collaborator, and he has also produced albums for Lucinda Williams and (you guessed it) the Pines. For Mason’s record, he got beloved twang-folk singer Iris DeMent (Brown’s wife) to join in, along with veteran drummer Chad Cromwell, who has toured with everyone from Neil Young and CSNY to Joe Walsh and is a mainstay in Mark Knopfler’s band.
Ramsey also performs with Pieta Brown (Greg’s daughter), who will open for Jennings at his two First Avenue gigs Dec. 5-6 – which we can now officially call album-release parties.
MARIJUANA DEATHSQUADS: After capping off Saturday’s second annual Totally Gross National Product party at Icehouse with some local all-star guests, the experimental wizards will top off 2013 with another full-length album, “Oh My Sexy Lord” will land Oct. 15 via TGNP, and both the the first track issued to promote it (“Ewok Sadness,” posted below) and the album cover art (next to the Soundcloud clip) are as bizarre as anything the crew has done before.
However, the MDS crew – anchored by Ryan Olson, Isaac Gale and Stef “P.O.S.” Alexander -- is taking a surprisingly conventional approach to promoting the album, with a showcase at New York’s CMJ festival set for Oct. 17 and a month-long tour in November with Poliça. The final two gigs on that outing are Nov. 29-30 at Mill City Nights. That part is weird.