Singer-songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols was born in Wyoming but moved to London in the ’80s; at one point he ended up living in a squat with The Slits’ Ari Up and had his horizons broadened by reggae and post-punk. In the ’90s he led Fellow Travelers with his wife Loraine Morley before going solo with a sound that mixes folk, reggae, country, soul, electronic music and just about any other genre he can fit under his hat. Jeb’s new album is The United States Of The Broken Hearted, and will be out November 11 via On-U Sound.
The record was produced by old friend, On-U Sound founder and dub/post-punk producer Adrian Sherwood, who produced Jeb’s 2010 album Long Time Traveller, and it features contributions from Martin Duffy (Primal Scream / Felt), great reggae drummer Horseman, Ivan “Celloman” Hussey (Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra), and more.
“The United States Of The Broken Hearted has been forty years in the making,” says Jeb. “I’ve known Adrian, and considered him one of my closest friends, for that long. During that time we’ve spent more hours listening, and talking about, music than anything else. Reggae, Country, Folk, Jazz, Soul; it’s been the backdrop to our friendship. Adrian introduced me to some of my favourite music; Count Ossie, Culture, Harry Beckett, Mulatu Astatke. Through the years we’ve listened to Sun Ra, Lee Perry, Ornette Coleman, Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie. A couple years ago, on a visit to Adrian, I mentioned Gram Parsons’s concept of ‘American Cosmic Music’, the melting mix of musical genres that constitutes a uniquely American sound. We talked about recording a record that incorporated all the influences I’d gathered, from Bluegrass to Jazz to Reggae to Soul. The United States Of The Broken Hearted is that record.”
Adds Sherwood, “This is Jeb’s Great American Songbook, he’s become such a great singer and songwriter over the years. This is a beautiful piece of work reminiscent of our mutual love for the Miracle album I made with Bim Sherman. I’m really proud of this record and it’s a fitting follow-up to Long Time Traveller.”
It’s a unique sound they’ve crafted, and you can listen to three tracks off the album below.
The United States Of The Broken Hearted:
1. Monsters On The Hill
2. Big Troubles Come In Through A Small Door
3. Fold Me Up
4. I Hate the Capitalist System
5. No Hiding Place For Me
6. What Does A Man Do All Day
7. United States Of The Broken Hearted
8. I’m Just A Visitor
9. I’ve Enjoyed As Much Of This Good Life (As I Can Take)
11. Looking For Some Rain
12. Satisfied Mind