Stars align. Be it cosmic or divine intervention, there comes a time when the chips fall in your favor, the light shines in the shadows or even on a dog’s hindquarters. For newly energized folk/punk mainstay Austin Lucas, that time is now. The singer/songwriter just entered Electrical Audio in Chicago with everyone’s favorite jumpsuit-clad audio genius, engineer extraordinaire Steve Albini.
The cantankerous Shellac and Big Black frontman, who also boasts studio credits with the likes of Nirvana, the Pixies, PJ Harvey and the Stooges (among many others), will guide the process with accompanying artistry from former Centro-matic main man Will Johnson, as well as Lucas’ family members, most notably Austin’s father Bob, a multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer known for his work with Alison Krauss. Todd Beene (Lucero, Glossary, Chuck Ragan) will be handling pedal-steel duties as they all team up for (and as) Immortal Americans.
“In my estimation, there isn’t a single human being alive who has been responsible for recording more music that I love (than Albini),” says Lucas. “As I can say with certainty that I’ve never poured more of myself into a collection of songs, I can’t think of anyone who I’d prefer to have at the engineering helm. This project has been a long time in the making, and I’m excited to finally be headed into the studio with so many amazing people. This album will be a new direction for me, in a way only hinted at before on (2009’s) Somebody Loves You.”
2018 promises to be a big one for Last Chance Records, as the label announces an acoustic Lucas LP, Field Recordings, followed later by Immortal Americans. When asked if having Albini, Johnson and Co. involved in the making of Immortal Americans means that things will be getting loud and fuzzy or, instead, a bit more laid back, Lucas responds, “Yes.”
As you digest that, here’s an added bonus for your listening pleasure: a stripped-down, acoustic version of one of the songs from Field Recordings that will be revamped and fleshed out for Immortal Americans: “Killing Time.” Enjoy it here.