Label: Bella Union
Release date: 13.05.2016
On ‘Introducing Karl Blau’, released by Bella Union, the enigmatic vocalist charts a new vision of country music. A Northwest indie hero, Blau channels darkness and hope in a cinematic collection of Nashville country hits from the 60s and 70s. Produced by Tucker Martine, the record features performances by Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Laura Veirs, Jon Hyde, Eli Moore (Lake), Steve Moore (Earth, SunnO))), among others. It all started with cutting a 7” single, a cover of the 1969 Tom T Hall hit ‘That’s How I Got To Memphis’. Blau, whom Martine had come to know from sessions with Laura Veirs among others, asked if he could try singing it. “I knew what a special artist Karl was, but I had no idea what a powerful interpreter of songs he was,” Martine says. The collaboration, pairing Blau’s deeply sonorous voice with Martine’s warm, modern arrangements, recast the Nashville hit in a new light. “He was able to communicate the essence of the song in such a moving way that we started dreaming of making a whole record based around our excitement for that collaboration.” The result was the single and, now, ‘Introducing Karl Blau’.