Jeb Loy Nichols, the UK-based, Wyoming-born artist and songsmith, has been puttng out his own singular brand of smoky retro soul for over two decades, gathering a fervent cult following along the way. Nichols, backed by his touring band, the Westwood All-Stars, releases a new studio album, June Is Short, July Is Long on Compass Records.
His new music is a record of his journey. Raised on bluegrass and country and western music, Nichols discovered southern soul when he was a teenager. From there it was off to New York City and hip-hop, then over to London and reggae and dancehall. It was this potent mix of genres - his love of classic American roots music and Jamaican reggae, dub and dancehall- that’s since been his signature.
June Is Short, July Is Long was recorded in Wales with The Westwood All-Stars for an organic, capturing-a-moment feel. “It was all done in five days,” he says of the sessions. “One day settng up, one day learning the songs, three days recording... it was great. The best music is a conversation, and this was a conversation between old friends.”
The resulting “musical conversation” has the lived-in, comfortable feel of a classic. It could sit comfortably alongside vintage albums by Ry Cooder or Van Morrison with its stripped-down, real-deal mix of joy and pain. “If you keep it simple,” he says, “there’s less to go wrong.” The resulting collection of songs proves his point. “You take a little country, some soul, some old friends and few good stories, and what can go wrong?”
Jeb Loy Nichols - June Is Short, July Is Long LP Released 05/07/19
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