RI-based musician Jake Blount is celebrating the release of his critically acclaimed new album The New Faith in a concert at the Columbus Theater in Providence on Friday, October 21. The album, just released on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, is described as a “dystopian Afrofuturistic concept album, featuring ten reimagined and reinterpreted traditional Black spirituals.”
Produced by Blount along with Brian Slattery, the album was recorded mainly in Blount’s own bedroom in Providence, RI. In addition to Blount on vocals, fiddle, banjo, percussion and strings and Slattery on percussion, guitar and strings, the album features guest appearances by Demeanor, D’orjay The Singing Shaman, Samuel James, Kaïa Kater, Lizzie No, Mali Obomsawin, Brandi Pace, Rissi Palmer and Lillian Werbin. The album has been well reviewed by the international press with The Guardian calling it “an instant classic.”
More about Jake Blount:
Blount is half of the internationally touring duo Tui, a 2020 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, and a two-time winner of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival. A specialist in the early folk music of Black Americans, Blout is a skilled performer of spiritual, blues and string band repertoire. His work speaks ardently about the African roots of the banjo and the subtle, yet profound ways African Americans have shaped and defined the amorphous categories of roots music and Americana.
Blount has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Newport Folk Festival, and numerous other venues across the globe. He has presented his scholarly work at museums and universities including the Smithsonian Institution, Berklee College of Music and Yale University. His first solo album, Spider Tales, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, received positive coverage from NPR, Rolling Stone and Billboard among others, and earned five out of five stars as The Guardian’s Folk Album of the Month. Spider Tales later appeared on “Best of 2020” lists from NPR, Bandcamp, The New Yorker, the Guardian, and others.
Watch the creative process behind his latest album here.