Americana godmothers and –fathers do it up right all over again.
By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern
The ever-magical moniker Scheherazade is now the title of alt-country/folk icons Freakwater’s eighth album – it’s their first in 10 years, and it is also the long-running outfit’s first for our heroes at Bloodshot Records. Look for it on Feb. 16, and you can hear the first single for it right HERE over at Stereogum.
The backstory: In 2014, Catherine Irwin and Janet Bean (along with longtime collaborator Jim Elkington) convened for a mini-tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their landmark album Feels Like The Third Time. Inspired by a rekindled musical spark, the two wrote songs throughout that summer and in the fall got together for two months of rehearsing and six days of recording. Scheherazade was recorded and mixed at LaLa Land Studio in Louisville, Kentucky with Kevin Ratterman, My Morning Jacket’s longtime engineer. It was the first time in the band’s long career that they recorded an album outside of Chicago. The slower pace of Louisville – what Janet calls “the Kentucky crawl” – and an extended cast of talented local musicians proved perfect elements for developing their new songs. Freakwater’s amazing collaborators on Scheherazade include Ellkington (Tweedy, Horse’s Ha, Eleventh Dream Day) on pedal steel and mandola, Evan Patterson (Young Widows, Jaye Jayle) on electric guitars, Warren Ellis (Dirty Three, Nick Cave) on fiddle and alto flute, Sarah Balliet (Murder By Death) on cello, and Morgan Geer (of Drunken Prayer – big Blurt shout-out to our friend Mr. Greer from the braintrust over here, by the way) on electric guitar.