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You Gotta Hear This: New Music From AJ Lee & Blue Summit, New Dangerfield, and More

Apr 26, 2024

You Gotta Hear This: New Music From AJ Lee & Blue Summit, New Dangerfield, and More

Are you excited for new music Friday? With our slate of premieres this week, we certainly are! AJ Lee & Blue Summit bring us the first track from their just-announced album, City of Glass (coming in July), old-time, folk, and Americana supergroup New Dangerfield have released their very first music together, and banjoist Tray Wellington (also of New Dangerfield) is dropping a new instrumental today, as well!

Plus, don’t miss Australian-via-Nashville country artist Wesley Dean and his new video for “Mercy” and you’ll also find Jacob Jolliff Band’s new number, “Los Angeles County Breakdown,” which premiered on BGS yesterday.

It’s all right here and to be totally honest, You Gotta Hear This!

AJ Lee & Blue Summit, “Hillside”

Artist: AJ Lee & Blue Summit
Hometown: Santa Cruz, California
Song: “Hillside”
Album: City of Glass
Release Date: July 19, 2024
Label: Signature Sounds

In Their Words: “The song ‘Hillside’ is sung from the perspective of a hill that is being eroded by weather and chipped by the tools of man. Still, the hill aspires to become a mountain and refuses to give in to the bombardment of forces. The last line in the chorus is, ‘… A thousand years don’t mean a thing to the stone cold hill that you call me,’ which I wrote with the idea that I will have confidence in myself no matter who tries to tear me down. I feel like I am becoming an immovable mountain that has been birthed out of proving my resilience. This song represents women empowerment, resilience, and strength.” – AJ Lee 

Track Credits:

Written by AJ Lee
Produced by Lech Wierzynski
Mixed and engineered by Jacob LaCally
Mastered by Paul Blakemore

New Dangerfield, “Dangerfield Newby”

Artist: New Dangerfield (Jake Blount, Kaia Kater, Tray Wellington, and Nelson Williams)
Hometown: Providence, RI; New York City, NY; New Orleans, LA; Raleigh, NC
Song: “Dangerfield Newby”
Release Date: April 26, 2024
Label: Distributed by Free Dirt Records

In Their Words: “I learned the tune we call ‘Dangerfield Newby’ from Eddie Bond close to a decade ago. He called it by the name ‘Old Sport,’ but told us that it was alternatively named ‘Dangerfield’ after one of John Brown’s raiders. I performed on John Brown’s farm last summer and had the opportunity to visit the grave he shares with his sons and several of his raiders — including the Black ones. I learned that Dangerfield was Black from his gravestone. The string band tradition has been honoring a Black freedom fighter all this time – who knew? I brought the tune to the band, since these are the stories we want to tell.

“Inspired by Dangerfield’s dedication to his family and community and his drive for freedom, we decided to put his full name on the tune. Thus, ‘Dangerfield Newby’ was born! We chose our band name, New Dangerfield, as an homage just a few days later.” – Jake Blount

Tray Wellington, “Blue Collared Dog and His Green Eyed Friend”

Artist: Tray Wellington
Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
Song: “Blue Collared Dog and His Green Eyed Friend”
Release Date: April 26, 2024
Label: Mountain Home Music Company

In Their Words: “One late night while doing some paintings, we ended the night with two different ones. One featured a dog with a blue collar, and one featured a cat with bright green eyes. I thought about how, if I was still a kid, I would’ve created a whole story within these paintings of how these two were friends and journeyed the world together. Shortly after this thought, I picked up my banjo and just did some improv which ended up being the start of the tune. I just kept going and finished the tune in that improv session, remembered what I could, and recorded it right away. I was amazed at how such a simple thought could help me create a piece of music I’m so proud of.” – Tray Wellington

Track Credits:
Tray Wellington – Banjo
Drew Matulich – Guitar
Katelynn Bohn – Bass
Josiah Nelson – Mandolin, fiddle

Wesley Dean, “Mercy”

Artist: Wesley Dean
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee (by way of Australia)
Song: “Mercy”
Album: Music From Crazy Hearts
Release Date: April 26, 2024

In Their Words: “While I was traveling around the country last summer on my Crazy Hearts Across America tour, we shot different music videos for the album in different cities. Where else is better than the neon psychedelic lights of Las Vegas for ‘Mercy?’ It suited the music and the vision. We shot up and down the strip outside the famous Flamingo casino one night and then built the rest of the video around that footage.

“Jacobie Gray, my director, wrote the treatment for the redemption story and then we filmed the rest of the video at a bar and old church in Nashville and a cemetery outside of town. I’ll never forget the night when we filmed with the gospel choir, it’s such a dream to sing with those guys, and it was one of the first visions I had before Crazy Hearts was born, ‘Mercy’ being the first song I wrote for the record. And being out in the cemetery in the middle of the night was another experience I’ll hold close from making this video. An Amish horse and cart rode past in the darkness while I was looking up at the stars smoking a cigar and it was so surreal. You wouldn’t experience that in Australia.

“My main cinematographer, David Bradley, who also edited and colored the video, really delivered on that psychedelic vibe I was wanting.” – Wesley Dean

Jacob Jolliff, “Los Angeles County Breakdown”

Artist: The Jacob Jolliff Band
Hometown: New York City, New York
Song: “Los Angeles County Breakdown”
Album: Instrumentals, Vol. 2: Mandolin Mysteries
Release Date: May 24, 2024
Label: Adhyâropa Records

In Their Words: “‘Los Angeles County Breakdown’ is the first tune we started arranging for Mandolin Mysteries. I taught it to the group while we were in LA, on the last show of our last tour before the lockdown in 2020. So I had these demos of us playing the working version that I listened to and was excited about for a couple years before we finally got the chance to finish the arrangement and perform it live. It’s a sprightly little number with a lot of different influences — I like that it features a nice section for the fiddle and guitar to stretch out on. Hope you enjoy it!” – Jacob Jolliff

More here.

Photo Credit: AJ Lee & Blue Summit by Natia Cinco; New Dangerfield by Justin French.

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You Gotta Hear This: New Music From AJ Lee & Blue Summit, New Dangerfield, and More
You Gotta Hear This: New Music From AJ Lee & Blue Summit, New Dangerfield, and More