Release date: January 26, 2018
Soulful singer-songwriter-guitarist returns on January 26, 2018 with his first collection of new songs in 15 years!
Recorded in Los Angeles with producer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Price (whose production resume includes acclaimed recent comeback efforts by Emitt Rhodes and Linda Perhacs, as well as his own widely celebrated second solo effort, Stop Talking), Alright features an all-star studio band consisting of guitarist Val McCallum (Jackson Browne, Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams), bassist Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello, Cracker, John Hiatt), and drummer Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Elliott Smith), who also record on their own as Jackshit.
Alright vibrates with positivity and enthusiasm, lending an unmistakable immediacy to such effervescent new Gaines originals as “Feel Alright,” “Firefly Hollow,” “Seems to Me” and “Frowned Upon.” The new songs showcase Gaines’ sublime melodic gifts, his vivid lyrical insight and ingratiating performing skills, while drawing strength from the unmistakable chemistry of the studio team, which cut all of the album’s backing tracks in a marathon three-day session.
“The whole experience of making this album was just a joy from beginning to end,” Gaines asserts. “We didn’t have a lot of time, so there was no fooling around. We just went in and knocked it out. Everybody played great, so it was an inspiring situation. The musicians have similar influences to me, so we were all on the same page, and I picked the songs I thought would suit this group of musicians. It was cool to have a structure, but at the same time it was also loose and organic.”
Alright’s title, Gaines explains, is a reflection of the mood in the studio during recording. “It’s just what everybody kept saying over and over again while we were making the record,” he says. “People would come into the studio and listen to a track and say ‘Hey, that’s alright!’”
Gaines has been pursuing musical transcendence for much of his life. Raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, by soul-music-loving parents, he began his musical life playing guitar in local cover combos, before his songwriting muse became too insistent to ignore. He soon landed his first record deal shortly after graduating from high school, and in 1992 released his widely acclaimed debut album Jeffrey Gaines. The eponymous disc won massive amounts of critical and audience acclaim, spawning the hit “Hero in Me.” Somewhat Slightly Dazed (1994) and Galore (1998) further expanded his audience. Interview magazine described Gaines’ work as “soul-searching” and “refreshingly free of jargon, sentiment or cliché.”
In 2001, Gaines’ release Always Be yielded a surprise hit in his deeply felt interpretation of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”; 2003’s Toward The Sun attracted even more critical accolades, with Mojo praising the “soul-folkie’s sexy growl” and The Boston Globe declaring that “Gaines’ soulful, wounded vocals make a case for his being one of pop’s finest singers.” Toward The Sun was followed by a pair of live albums, the 2004 CD/DVD Jeffrey Gaines Live and 2012’s Live In Europe, which reflected the deep and abiding rapport that Gaines has with his fans. That relationship keeps him consistently on the road playing high-energy one-man live sets, even when there’s no new album to promote.”
With a quarter-century of recording and performing under his belt, Jeffrey Gaines is enjoying life and music more than ever. “Nowadays, I know what the job is about, so there’s nothing to stress about,” he says. “I know that there’s people out there who want it, so I have the opportunity to extend their experience, and I’m thankful for that. Even though there’s a long gap between Toward The Sun and Alright, this one continues that story and that sound. I guess I could lay my albums all out and see that they tell a story, but personally I prefer to keep looking forward.”
Feel Alright Firefly Hollow No Longer Seems To Me Frowned Upon Promise Of Passion Bjorn Toulouse I Will Be Thick And Thin Children’s Games