Oklahoma troubadour John Moreland has today released his highly anticipated new album Big Bad Luv via 4AD / Remote Control.
Big Bad Luv, is an honest, bruising experience. A record about love, faith and the human condition.
Moving from Kentucky to Tulsa when he was ten years old, John fronted hardcore and punk bands throughout high school years before feeling the pull of the lyricism he heard in folk and country music. A prolific songwriter, he has released largely self-produced albums every other year since 2011.
Big Bad Luv was recorded down in Little Rock, mostly with a crew of Tulsa friends: John Calvin Abney on piano and guitar, back from Tulsa Heat; Aaron Boehler on bass; Paddy Ryan on drums; Jared Tyler on dobro. And then Lucero’s Rick Steff on piano, which ended up being the catalyst for completion. It was later mixed by GRAMMY winning Tchad Blake, who has worked with Al Green and Tom Waits.
“I always start off writing whatever comes naturally,” Moreland says. “Once I’ve got seven or eight of those, then I’ll take stock and look at what I’ve got, figure out what belongs on a record together, and what might not. Then I’ll figure out what kind of songs I need.”
Three sessions over ten months, sandwiched between touring dates and life. “Quick bursts of recording,” Moreland goes on. Gives off a quick laugh. “It’s not like we’re sitting there over-thinking the performances, I’m definitely a fan of just hit record and play it. But then there’s long stretches where I’m not in the studio, when I’m listening to what I did, asking how do I turn this into a record?”
The key turned out to be Rick Steff’s promise to record next week, even though Moreland didn’t have songs, not a one. “I went home and wrote five songs in four days and finished up,” Moreland says.