The New Faith | Sept 23, 2022

The New Faith

Jake Blount

'The New Faith' will be released on September 23rd, 2022 on CD/digital and early 2023 on LP.

'The New Faith' tells an Afrofuturist story set in a far-future world devastated by climate change. Jake Blount and his collaborators embody a group of Black climate refugees as they perform a religious service, invoking spirituals that are age-old even
'The New Faith' will be released on September 23rd, 2022 on CD/digital and early 2023 on LP.

'The New Faith' tells an Afrofuturist story set in a far-future world devastated by climate change. Jake Blount and his collaborators embody a group of Black climate refugees as they perform a religious service, invoking spirituals that are age-old even now, familiar in their content but extraordinary in their presentation. These songs, which have seen Black Americans through countless struggles, bind this future community together and their shared past; beauty and power held in song through centuries of devastation, heartbreak, and loss.

Learn more: https://folkways.si.edu/jake-blount/the-new-faith
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The Man Was Burning | Single

The Man Was Burning

Jake Blount

The new single from roots master Jake Blount troubles the waters. Known for his incisive perspective on Black American folk music and powerhouse musicianship, Blount has unearthed a rare fire-and-brimstone spiritual from the 1930s and reworked the lyrics to speak to our current era of ultra-wealth and privilege. With “The Man Was Burning,” coming
The new single from roots master Jake Blount troubles the waters. Known for his incisive perspective on Black American folk music and powerhouse musicianship, Blount has unearthed a rare fire-and-brimstone spiritual from the 1930s and reworked the lyrics to speak to our current era of ultra-wealth and privilege. With “The Man Was Burning,” coming February 22, 2022 on Free Dirt Records, Blounts moves easily along the spectrum of Black roots music, from field recordings in penitentiaries, to the electric guitar of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, all the way up to an updated modern sound that incorporates looped production from hip-hop.

Having spent part of the pandemic at his family farm in Virginia, “just up the road from the plantation where our ancestors were kept,” he says, his own family history in the South was foremost in his mind when sourcing and recording the song. Blount found the song on an old Smithsonian Folkways LP, Virginia Work Songs. The singer, Joe Lee, was 71 years old and incarcerated at Virginia’s Powhatan State Farm when John Lomax recorded him in 1936. “It’s a spiritual that echoes with burning hellfire,” Blount says. “All of these supernatural, plagues of Egypt-type things are happening to this person ostensibly as punishment for his gambling. I don’t really mind people gambling, so I changed the verses to be about somebody who’s hoarding money and thinking too much of what it can do for him and is punished. This is kind of my “Eat the Rich” moment."
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Spider Tales

Spider Tales

Jake Blount

"Spider Tales is an instant classic." –– The Guardian

"What a wonderful, vivid, slightly roguish, and quite powerful collection it is." –– NPR's "All Songs Considered"

Featured as Bandcamp's "Album of the Day" on 5/29

For as long as it’s existed, the American roots music industry has co-opted Black music into a package to be marketed and
"Spider Tales is an instant classic." –– The Guardian

"What a wonderful, vivid, slightly roguish, and quite powerful collection it is." –– NPR's "All Songs Considered"

Featured as Bandcamp's "Album of the Day" on 5/29

For as long as it’s existed, the American roots music industry has co-opted Black music into a package to be marketed and resold, defanging or erasing perspectives deemed too threatening along the way. Banjo player and fiddler Jake Blount resurrects these deep musical strains on Spider Tales, his debut record out May 29th on Free Dirt Records. Named for Anansi—the great trickster of Akan mythology—Spider Tales features fourteen carefully chosen tracks drawn from Blount’s extensive research of Black and Indigenous mountain music. The result is an unprecedented testament to the voices paradoxically obscured yet profoundly ingrained into the Appalachian tradition. With a history of hardship and resistance coded into the music, Spider Tales brings out centuries of visceral feeling refracted again through the lens of Blount’s own experience as an LGBTQ activist and key figure in an emerging wave of queer roots musicians. The album’s sound is appropriately haunted—spinning through “crooked” instrumental tunes, modal keys, stark songs, and confounding melodic structures—and its lyrics range from despairing to violent to downright apocalyptic. Blount is joined by his musical peers Tatiana Hargreaves, Nic Gareiss, Rachel Eddy, and Haselden Ciaccio on the album, which was produced by Jeff Claus and Judy Hyman (The Horse Flies). Altogether, Spider Tales is a beautiful, masterfully performed, and thematically intense first statement into the transforming canon of American roots music.
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Reparations | EP

Reparations

Jake Blount

Thank you to the Blount Family (especially Jeffrey, Julia, Edward and Doris), the Meserve Family (especially Jeanne), Tatiana Hargreaves, Abbey Pechman, Dr. Lydia Hamessley, Dr. Michael Woods, Graham Espe, Megan Jean & Byrne Klay, Rhiannon Giddens, Hubby Jenkins, Jerron Paxton and Nic Gareiss. The support, instruction and inspiration you
Thank you to the Blount Family (especially Jeffrey, Julia, Edward and Doris), the Meserve Family (especially Jeanne), Tatiana Hargreaves, Abbey Pechman, Dr. Lydia Hamessley, Dr. Michael Woods, Graham Espe, Megan Jean & Byrne Klay, Rhiannon Giddens, Hubby Jenkins, Jerron Paxton and Nic Gareiss. The support, instruction and inspiration you provided made this project possible.
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