Album: The Psalms
Label: Legacy Sony
Release date: March 24, 2017
Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release The Psalms, an all-new album from American country music legend Jessi Colter, on March 24, 2017. With lyrics drawn from timeless and sacred poems, these spiritual and personal recordings are spontaneous musical interpretations of the Old Testament songs attributed to the shepherd/poet/musician David. The Psalms is the first new album of Jessi Colter studio music since the release of the artist's Out Of The Ashes in 2006.
The core tracks for The Psalms--featuring Colter (piano and voice) and Lenny Kaye (electric and acoustic guitar)--were recorded at Dubway studios in Manhattan during two sessions (February 16-17, 2007 and January 4-5, 2008) nearly a decade ago. On The Psalms, the original tracks have been augmented with musical contributions from a variety of artists including Bobby Previte (drums, cymbals, tympani, triangle), Al Kooper (Hammond organ), Paul Dugan (arco bass), Mia Theodoratus (harp), John Jackson (mandolin, violin), Jenni Muldaur (background vocals), Jesse Lauter (mellotron), Black Sea Hotel (Willa Roberts, Sarah Small, Shelley Thomas) (background vocals).
In his enlightening liner notes and exegesis of The Psalms, penned especially for this release, Lenny Kaye recalls "One morning in 1995, while working with Waylon Jennings (Jessi's husband) on his autobiography in Nashville, I came into the living room to find Jessi Colter at the piano, singing the Psalms. She would place her fingers on the keys, forming simple chords and expressing melodies as they came to her. There was no forethought, no conception of composition; only the intuitive expression of the spirituality behind these most ancient of sacred poems, the divinity they wellspring within each of us. I listened transfixed while she paged through the Old Testament, choosing each Psalm, finding within them the emotive voice of the Shepherd Boy, the Warrior, ultimately the King that is David. It was one of the most beautiful expressions of belief I had ever witnessed."
"In the early months of 2007 I secured a studio with a good piano. There was no rehearsal. We would select a Psalm. She sat behind the keyboard, gathered herself, and then began to sing. There were one, perhaps two takes of each. Sometimes I accompanied her on guitar. Over the years I decorated them with chosen musicians, careful not to disturb their intimacy or their moment of improvised creation and inspiration."
"I am thrilled to work with Lenny Kaye and sing King David's Psalms, the most creative music I've ever done," says Jessi, "...and the greatest challenge!"
Colter is an iconic American country music artist whose career began in the 1960s when, encouraged by her first husband, the mythic rock guitarist Duane Eddy ("Rebel Rouser"), she composed hit songs for Dottie West, Nancy Sinatra, Hank Locklin and others. Perhaps best-known for her musical collaborations with her second husband, Waylon Jennings, she rocketed to the top of the charts with her country-pop crossover hit "I'm Not Lisa" in 1975. In 1976, her contributions to the platinum-selling album Wanted: The Outlaws secured her place in American musical history as the premier bad-ass woman artist in the male-dominated "outlaw country music" sphere. She has fifteen major-label albums to her credit, and her songs and records have sold in the tens of millions.