As 2022 winds to a close, we are wrapping up this year’s installment of the Lagniappe Sessions with the Tokyo based artist Takuro Okada. The set finds Okada on the heels of his first album in two years, Betsu No Jikan, which features a heavy murderers’ row of of guest players including Jim O’Rourke, Shun Ishiwaka, Nels Cline, Sam Gendel, and Carlos Niño. No stranger to covers (the LP kicks off with Okada and co.’s transfiguration of Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”), the following session finds the artist paying tribute to fellow countryman Haruomi Hosono, and the title track from Don Cherry’s 1975 LP, Brown Rice.
Scott Hirsch dons a number of hats: singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer. Based in Ojai, CA, where he mans Echo Magic studios, the multi-hyphenate artist joins us for his second Lagniappe rodeo following up his 2019 session. While that installment found Hirsch reconfiguring the likes of Dire Straits, Dylan and Commander Cody, the following focuses solely on the sonic wizardry of one space cowboy, Steve Miller.
Fresh off of a long summer on the road, the multi-instrumentalist recorded his inaugural Lagniappe Session soaked in the California sun of his outdoor garden studio (background cricket ambiance and all). In addition to tackling Jonathan Richman’s interpretation of fantasy exotica, the selections play tribute to his many lifelong influences dating back to childhood in Japan: deep cuts from the limitless worlds of Haruomi Hosono and Eiichi Ohtaki.
For his first Lagniappe Session, the musician who named his debut album after Robert Ashley’s record label surprised no one by selecting a pair of deep cuts to reinterpret. The Necessaries’ “More Real” receives a dubby deconstruction with Mairesse stepping in for Arthur Russell, while his cover of Leslie Winer’s “John Says” is a welcome introduction to the musician and poet called “The Godmother of Trip Hop” by John Peel.
An American expat based in Paris, Frank Maston crafts sonic worlds of singular origin. Reminiscent of the deepest crates of library music and vintage Italian film scores, Maston’s output (four LPs to date beginning with 2013’s Shadows) feels at once widescreen and cinematic, yet intimate. Following up last year’s collaboration with Swiss septet L’Eclair, Souvenir, this month sees the release of Panorama via the London based Be With Records. To accompany the album’s release, Maston laid down his first Lagniappe Session in Paris, paying tribute to Dutch popper Alice Deejay, along with a tune via a 1966 episode of Star Trek.
Lee Baggett’s Just a Minute, released earlier this year, marks his first outing under his own name after decades in the West Coast underground. For his first-ever Lagniappe Session, he breaks out selections from Def Leppard, The English Beat, and Van Halen, reflecting on the cuts as he goes along.
The nom de tune of sonic chameleon Frank LoCrasto, Kolumbo features vast and intricate orchestrations reminiscent of the symphonic exotica and jazz-pop records birthed by Capital records in the 50s and 60s. Strings, woodwinds, brass, keyboard and percussion all make an appearance, buoyed by an edge of psychedelia complete with synthesizers and loads of tape echo. On the heels of the project’s debut release, Gung Ho, LoCrasto and co. touch down with their inaugural Lagniappe Session, sonically juxtaposing the works of Stevie Wonder, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Brian Wilson, Duke Ellington and more.
Surprise! The first Lagniappe SuperSession is a birthday party gathering of 33 artists interpreting the music of songwriter, James Toth. The songs in this collection cover over 20 years of music from James’ career, from his early band Golden Calves to his last Wooden Wand record, Clipper Ship. Featuring artists Woods, Marisa Anderson, Lee Ranaldo, William Tyler, Ryley Walker, Tashi Dorji (as Mount), Thurston Moore, Meg Baird, and 25 more, the range of styles and sounds on this compilation show off the universality of Toth’s impressive oeuvre.
For his debut Lagniappe Session, Eli Winter applies his solo guitar to a set of songs by Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell, Maria BC, Judee Sill, and Karen Dalton.
Last month saw the release of Of Montreal’s 18th long-player, the seven track Freewave Lucifer fck, and with it the perennial project’s second set of covers for AD, this time paying tribute to a pair of British iconoclasts and longtime influences. First up is Barnes’ rendering of Syd Barret’s “Dark Globe, off The Madcap Laughs, the singer-songwriter’s 1970 debut following his departure from Pink Floyd. Up next, the majesty of Marc Bolan circa ’71, courtesy of an acoustic take on “Cosmic Dancer”, via T. Rex’s Electric Warrior.
Mapache returned earlier this summer with the release of Roscoe’s Dream, the Los Angeles duo’s third, and tightest, LP to date. Comprised of Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch, we described their sound in 2017 as something akin to “a blazed up Everly Brothers” — something the pair make good on in 2022, via their debut Lagniappe Session. Here, Mapache pay tribute to Don and Phil’s “Always It’s You”, originally cut by the brothers in 1960 as a b-side. Next up is a faithful cover of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings’ “You Only Have Your Soul”, a tune found on the second volume of Welch’s lost songs collection, Boots No. 2.
Alex Izenberg resurfaced this past May with the release of his third full-length, I’m Not Here. Introspective and impressionistic, it’s an album that defies easy categorization. This is both a testament to Izenberg’s idiosyncratic pop-craft, and the sonic palette set forth by producer Greg Hartunian, with an assist from Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth. For this, his second Lagniappe Session, the singer-songwriter reflects on the nature of impermanence via a cover of Jim Croce’s 1972 hit single, “Time In A Bottle”. Fast-forward to present day and we find Izenberg paying tribute to Fleet Floxes’ “I’m Not My Season”, culled from the group’s 2020 lp, Shore.
On Dizzy Demos: 2 Tickets to Cheeseburger in Paradise, songwriter Mike Polizze reveals the ramshackle core of his solo debut Long Lost Solace Find, collecting demos and outtakes from the album’s original sessions. The former Purling Hiss frontman’s songs shine in nascent form, tugging at threads that connect to country rock, glam, and classic loner folk. For his first ever Lagniappe Session, Polizze keeps things similarly direct and locked in, with two sparse traditional songs.
For their first ever Lagniappe Session, North Carolina songwriter/singer/producer Al Riggs takes on songs by The Who, Liz Phair, and Hidden Cameras.
São Paulo’s Tim Bernardes swept us off our feet earlier this month with his new album, Mil Coisas Invisíveis. Across fifteen tracks sung in beautiful, tender Portuguese, he mines love, loss, and change with equal splendor bringing his diaristic existentialism to vibrant sonic life. For his inaugural Lagniappe Session, Bernardes keeps the flame aglow, tackling one from fellow countryman Gilberto Gil’s 1971 self-titled album, the Dirty Projectors’ knotty, Tropicália-tinged art rock, and one of The Beatles’ most spiritually mystic moments.