On November 8, the day after the 2016 election, Welsh-bred, Chicago-based musician and visual artist Jon Langford, who has contributed to recordings by Old 97’s, Alejandro Escovedo and others, and a crew of merry-makers and alchemists filed into the NuttHouse studio, a one-story former bank building in Sheffield, Alabama. The NuttHouse was a fever heat of creativity that crossed musical generations, racial lines, and the invisible barrier separating the flatlands of the upper Midwest and rolling hills of the deepest South. Even the ocean between the Delta and the dingy port city of Newport, South Wales, Jon’s hometown, evaporated out of sight.
Four Lost Souls was recorded over four days, in Muscle Shoals with famed producer Norbert Punam and legends of the illustrious Muscle Shoals musical legacy. It is brimming with images of killing and hope, Faulkner, the Natchez Trace, and the sea. Four Lost Souls is pure Americana, not just because of where it was recorded or who played on what track, but because it is beyond the news of the day. It is a travelogue of sorts; it goes to a place where the differences between country, soul, blues, and rock-and-roll are blown aside by the warm languid breezes. The music had no time for such petty details, because in the moment, in that place, was the sound of sweet agreement.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of debuting “Half Way Home” from the LP, which sees release via Bloodshot Records on September 22.