I was lucky enough to get a call from my friends and harmony-heroes The Secret Sisters who were in need of album artwork and press materials for their excellent, Brandi Carlisle-produced album (listen to album here). In an attempt to get something a little more personal, we went on-location at the sisters’ grandparents farm (now home to Laura) and in a couple of hours that afternoon, I think we got some work to be proud of. No budget for hair, makeup or design – just the three of us. Below are a few personal favorites.
Thank you for humoring me as I scrapbook The Nobility’s 2016 in review. We released an album, played some shows and did a few other cool things, but you will see a noticeable absence of live shots, because we’re not very good at taking photos of ourselves while we play. Most photos taken with an iPhone.
Grimey’s Records in-store album release show / February 2016
A time-honored Nobility Album Release Day tradition:
Fayetteville, AR / April 2016:
We had a commercial spot with Meijer Stores featuring The Nobility and a lonely wiener:
White Water Tavern / Little Rock, AR / April 2016:
We were beyond honored to be featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast, where Robin Hilton had some nice things to say about our song “Wonderful Night” as well as the rest of the record.
Also, Ponch himself emoji-reviewed our music:
Jackson, TN / April 2016
Hi-Tone Cafe / Memphis, TN / June 2016
Test-pressing for The Nobility vinyl 7″ (official release comings soon)
Syndicate Lounge / Birmingham, AL / July 2016:
This was happening in the back room while we played our show:
Foobar / Nashville, TN / August 2016
Star Bar / Atlanta, GA / August 2016:
Personally, I never trust a rock club whose bathroom doesn’t look like this:
Daytrotter Session / Davenport, IA / August 2016:
Attention: The Nobility is playing tonight at Foobar in East Nashville, sharing a bill with the mind-blowingly talented Daniel Donato’s new band Local Universe. We’ll also be in Atlanta on Saturday at the Star Bar with The Pinx, listening to their outstanding rock n’ roll music songs. Anyone who makes it to both shows gets a complimentary Filet-O-Fish® Value Meal from The Nobility, as our way of saying ‘thanks’.
(poster by Sean Williams)
Bill Monroe, the man who invented bluegrass music, finally had an estate sale almost 20 years after his death. I joined WPLN/NPR reporter Blake Farmer and photographed the morning of the event. Read/listen on NPR or read/listen on WPLN, with a few photo gallery extras.
Canceled checks signed by Bill Monroe… electric bills, the IRS, Master Card and the like.
Carly Turner of New Orleans and her purchase – a picture that once hung in Bill Monroe’s den:
The Nobility continues to vie for your attention, and here is my attempt to remind you that A. we have merchandise to sell and B. we would love for you to buy some of it. Among the newest items are a “masher” t-shirt, a limited-run poster from the legendary Hatch Show Print, of course, the new album. All of these items you can buy here.
Robin Hilton on NPR’s All Songs Considered called our newest album “joyful, exuberant music” and he “really really loved it”. (humblebrag alert)
Shirts and posters:
We also have a soon-to-be-officially-released 7″ vinyl (45 RPM) record. The A-side is a song from our full-length album, but the B-side, Hope You Still Want to Be Loved, is exclusive to the vinyl and features a previously-unreleased track we recorded with our harmony heroes The Secret Sisters. If you’d like to buy it now, there are ways (i.e. send me an email).
I had the chance to photograph a recording session recently in Sheffield, AL and witness David Hood in his natural habitat. Mr. Hood is a charter member of The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section / The Swampers, he co-founded the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and fathered a human named Patterson Hood (The Drive By Truckers). He has also played on albums with Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Percy Sledge, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Willie Nelson, Simon & Garfunkel, Lynyrd Skynyrd, James Taylor, Cher, Merle Haggard, Jimmy Buffett, Levon Helm, Boz Scaggs, Clarence Carter, Linda Rondstadt, Steve Cropper, Klaus Voorman, Albert King, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Duane Allman, Glenn Frey, Julian Lennon, Frank Black, Jason Isbell and many others. He’s clearly good at what he does and yes, I’m bragging a little that I got to watch him work in North Alabama… you would, too.
Here are but a few recordings on which David Hood plays bass:
Tell Mama – ETTA JAMES (1967)
I’m Your Puppet – JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY (1967)
I’ll Take You There – THE STAPLES SINGERS (1972)
Kodachrome – PAUL SIMON (1973)
Loves Me Like a Rock – PAUL SIMON (1973)
Thank God For Kids – THE OAK RIDGE BOYS (1982) (a persona fave)
Old Time Rock n’ Roll – BOB SEGAR (1984)
Also in on the session was the talented Dylan LeBlanc, recording a few tracks of his country songwriter-father James LeBlanc.
Here’s what I got:
Dylan LeBlanc (below)
The visually pleasing studio bathroom sink:
Around downtown Sheffield, AL:
The Nobility is honored to be featured today on NPR’s All Songs Considered! Take a listen to some of the nice things Robin Hilton has to say about the song “Wonderful Night” along with the rest of the record. Note: I incorrectly get credit for Sean’s song and tale of romance, but the kind words are no less valid.
Spoiler: This is one of the things that Robin Hilton said about Ashford Castle “This whole record is… just so joyful. I really really loved it”
You can do this wherever you live, as long as it’s on Planet Earth:
Listen to said Nobility tune here.
The new Nobility album, Ashford Castle, will be birthed into the world this Friday, February 19th. And if you so desire, you can stream whole thing right here, right now. No pressure except for maybe just a little.
Speaking of, we’re playing a free in-store at Grimey’s Friday evening (2/19) at 6pm… a perfect time and place to pick up a copy of the record.