As the only living member of the original Badfinger quartet, it’s fallen to Joey Molland to keep the torch burning brightly for his old band. But in addition to touring as Joey Molland’s Badfinger, the Liverpool-born singer-songwriter-guitarist/rock and roll survivor has recorded a number of solo albums since 1984. Last year, he appeared in the well-received tour of It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: A Tribute to The Beatles’ White Album alongside such talents as Todd Rundgren, Micky Dolenz, Christopher Cross, and Chicago’s Jason Scheff. Omnivore Recordings has announced that his latest solo project – and first album of original material in nearly a decade – will arrive on October 16.
Be True to Yourself features ten original songs from Molland who contributed material to all of Badfinger’s albums from No Dice (1970) through Say No More (1981). The album has been produced by Mark Hudson (Harry Nilsson, Ringo Starr, Aerosmith) and welcomes a number of guests including Scheff, Dolenz, Julian Lennon, and Steve Holley (Wings, Mott the Hoople). Lennon has even provided the front and back cover photography for the album. Of course, Julian’s presence brings Molland full circle as Badfinger became the breakout artists on The Beatles’ Apple Records label. (Molland even had the courage to record his composition called “Love Me Do” on No Dice!) “All I Want to Do” and “Rainy Day Man” have been selected as the singles.
Look for Molland’s Be True to Yourself on October 16 from Omnivore on CD as well as digital formats. You’ll find the track listing below as well as pre-order links from Amazon and Omnivore!
Earlier this year, Omnivore reissued and expanded the 2014 solo album Prospect Hill by Grammy-winning, Emmy-nominated songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, historian, and co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dom Flemons. Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus presented the original album, the 2015 Record Store Day EP What Got Over (never before available on CD), and 12 previously unissued instrumental tracks. Its 2 CDs and 35 tracks add up to a history of American music in miniature, touching on folk, jazz, blues, country, and beyond with traditional melodies alongside similarly-flavored originals and covers including Frank Loesser’s “Have I Stayed Away Too Long.” Now, the label has teamed with Flemons for a one-of-a-kind object. Indeed, it’s perhaps the most unusual that we’ve covered in over a decade of daily news reporting: an Edison cylinder of the song “I Can’t Do It Anymore.” Flemons, who portrayed real-life bluesman Joe Hill Louis on CMT’s Sun Records, wrote and performed “I Can’t Do It Anymore” in the style of the early rock-and-roll pioneers whose repertoire was shaped by their love of rhythm and blues.
Flemons notes in Omnivore’s press release, “I chose to release this original song both digitally and on a wax cylinder as a way to present the older technology and juxtaposed it to the modern streaming standards of recorded music. In the 21st century, we are now at a crossroads because we have reached the 100-year threshold of American popular roots music that first began with wax cylinder recordings as early as the 1890s. The wax cylinder is considered a remnant of the past but when the first personal cylinder players were introduced to the world by Thomas Edison in 1890 they were not only considered modern, they were cutting edge technology. For the first time a person could hear themselves back on a Gramophone in a form that was easy to record and retrieve for multiple listens. This not only transformed popular music but changed the study of ethnomusicology. Folklorists like John A. Lomax could capture the obscure voices hidden within the heartland of America, which opened up potentially marginalized music to wider audiences around the world.”
He adds, “The first time I ever had a chance to record a wax cylinder was over ten years ago at a Folk Alliance International conference with musician and documentarian Martin Fisher. I had the great fortune to sit down with Martin and discuss his interests and passion for this wax cylinder technology. Here is our conversation and several of my wax cylinder recordings that are now housed at the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University. In 2019, I had the opportunity to contribute to the liner notes on a three-CD box set called Protobilly: The Minstrel and Tin Pan Alley DNA of County Music. 1897-2017. The collection explores the popular music of the 1890’s and its journey through the recordings beginning with wax cylinders. I am excited to release this limited edition and autographed wax cylinder recording of ‘I Can’t Do It Anymore’ from Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus on Omnivore Recordings! It is an honor to celebrate over 100 years of American roots music! Welcome to the time warp!”
Each cylinder has been hand-signed, and only twenty have been made. Visit Omnivore at this link for more information!
- This Time
- Better Tomorrow
- Rainy Day Man
- All I Want to Do
- I Don’t Wanna Be Done with You
- All I Do Is Cry
- Loving You
- Be True to Yourself