Yep Roc Records has announced February 10, 2015 as the release date for The Simple Truth, the debut solo project from Jeff Austin following his departure from Yonder Mountain String Band this year.
Yonder fans should find a lot to like in this new record, where Jeff is backed by a consistent quartet, The Jeff Austin Band, with a wide variety of guest artists. Danny Barnes is on banjo, Ross Martin on guitar, Eric Thorin on bass, and Cody Dickinson on drums. Austin handles mandolin and vocals, with guest spots from Jason Carter on fiddle, Andy Hall on reso-guitar, and even a horn section on a couple of tracks.
Long time Austin followers won’t be surprised by the somewhat eclectic song choices and arrangements, reflecting Jeff’s range of musical interests. The bluegrass flavor is not as pronounced, though always present, something he addresses up front.
“On this record you notice that the mandolin is scattered about. I wanted to sing these songs without worrying if I have to do a solo here or figure out a riff for this part. I wanted to sing songs the best I could, tap into a lot of emotions that I haven’t ventured to in a while.
As the primary writer and singer, my name may be attached to the thing, but this is everybody’s band. To see the work these guys are doing on a nightly basis, embedding themselves and the dedication to work, it’s ridiculous. It’s a cool thing to be a part of.”
The bulk of the 10 tracks are Austin originals or co-writes, including a couple that should be familiar. The album opens with a rocking’ take on What The Night Brings, a favorite on Yonder Mountain shows for years, and Fiddlin’ Around, which was cut by Dierks Bentley on his 2010 bluegrass CD, Up On The Ridge.
Expect to hear more from The Simple Truth early in the year.