Cass McCombs released two records in 2011, and in an interview I asked McCombs if he felt he was in the midst of an especially productive period. As he is wont to do when speaking to journalists—something he rarely does—McCombs played both tight-lipped and contrarian. (And hey, while I'm bumping past work, it's worth noting that the one thing McCombs did talk more freely about was Bradley Manning, which feels especially poignant today.)
I saw McCombs play a few times in 2012-13, and he continued trotting out new material. A number of tunes he played at Pickathon in 2012 were particularly stellar. They stuck with me as I pined for their release.
Well, that day is coming: McCombs will release Big Wheel And Others October 15th. And with it, McCombs' prolific streak continues—the damn thing is a double-album. Or at least that's the technical term. From the press-release:
Big Wheel and Others comprises twenty-two songs (or, as they are more often and unfortunately known in the After Compact Disc—hereafter “ACD” era—tracks). But “double album” implies bloat, prog, and concept, so, let’s stick with “songs.” Big Wheel and Others is a bundle, a bindle, a hay bale, and an oil barrel of songs. Some of the genres that are to be found in varying degrees in the songs on this album are: Road songs, rock songs, folk songs, blues songs, country songs, rhythm and blues songs, skronk non-songs, cinema songs, cult songs, poem songs, jams, and ballads - to use however you wish.
To my great relief a number of those songs McCombs has been performing on recent tours—like "My Name Written in Water," "Morning Star," and "Big Wheel" to name a few—are on the record. A preview single, "There Can Be Only One," is simply marvelous. Take a listen:
Track-list, limited edition pre-order, and other details available here.