The Lagniappe Sessions :: M. Ward

Lagniappe (la ·gniappe) noun ‘lan-ˌyap,’ — 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.

Listen through M. Ward’s discography and you’ll find the dogeared archival work of a student of music history. Dating back to 1999’s Duet For Guitars #2 and through the 2000s with End of Amnesia in 2001, 2003’s Transfiguration of Vincent, and Transistor Radio in 2005, Ward’s early scrappiness shimmered with the remnants of legends like John Fahey and early Dylan. And like any voracious student, Ward continued to catalogue along the way. Glimpses of Tom Waits and Howlin’ Wolf were exhumed in the grit of Ward’s mid-aughts era and beyond. 

Following the surf-tinged landscape of 2018’s What a Wonderful Industry, Ward’s sprawling and reflective tenth studio album Migration Stories, set for release on April 3 via ANTI- Records, bears its influence with mid-19th century migration folklore and Pax Americana folk. For his debut Lagniappe Session, Ward decided to dig deep into the historical archives to rework some classic standards—one jazz, one classical—using some heavy guitar strings and the rustic hum of vintage Americana. Ward’s notes on his selections, below.

M. Ward :: I’ll Be Around {version 2} (Alec Wilder)

Over the last 80 years since it was written there’s been a lot of versions out there of this song . So many great ones. I heard it first on a great record called “In The Wee Small Hours” by Frank Sinatra a long time ago. I haven’t heard a lot of stripped down versions of this song though – there’s a lot of ways to produce a song like this and I see this is as the most elemental.

M. Ward :: BWV 1007 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

This one is by Bach. I usually hear it with different stringed instruments. I wanted to try it on steel guitar and try some heavy metal string muting in the middle. Elemental.

Lagniappe Sessions Archives / imagery via d norsen

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