SONG PREMIERE: Jonah Tolchin Offers Soulful Take on Little Feat’s “Roll’ Um Easy” With the Help of Fred Tackett, Jackson Browne and Rickie Lee Jones

Acclaimed singer/songwriter/bluesman Jonah Tolchin will release his fourth studio album, Fires for the Cold, September 13 on Yep Roc Records. The album, which was produced by GRAMMY-winning producer Sheldon Gomberg, features a stellar cast of artists/musicians, including Jackson Browne, Rickie Lee Jones, Sara Watkins, and Fred Tackett.

Featuring nine original compositions and a cover, Fires for the Cold is a reflection of the conflicts that engulfed Tolchin over the last few years. “Every record I make is like a record in time,” Tolchin explains. “I found that for myself, and for this record, it has been important to delve into the depths of my emotions and confront them head on. The album became a healing process.”

Reflecting Tolchin’s musical journey, the album’s title was taken from a line written by the late poet Mary Oliver – “Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”

Today Glide is excited to premiere the album’s lone cover, Tolchin’s take on Little Feat’s “Roll’ Um Easy.” This isn’t just any cover, as it features Fred Tackett (of Little Feat), Jackson Browne and Rickie Lee Jones. Tolchin stays faithful to the original but goes for even sparser acoustic instrumentation. With the help of Jackson Browne and Rickie Lee Jones, Tolchin’s already soulful vocals are elevated to a higher plane. The beauty of this take is the way the band slowly layers on instrumentation, culminating in a wash of rich sounds with slide guitar, organ and drums. Tolchin really does nail the emotional power of the original tune, reminding us that he is as much a songwriter of today as he is someone who can interpret the past. 

Tolchin describes the decision to record this tune and the process behind it:

“’Roll Um Easy’ has been one of my favorite songs since I was around 14. I’ve been wanting to record it for a long time, and it seemed to fit the vibe of this album for a number of reasons. Getting to have Fred Tackett (Little Feat) play on this with me live was an incredibly beautiful and trippy full circle experience. Deeply moving and emotional for me… I’ve also always heard drums coming in after “you gotta hoist your flag and beat your drum” line. When Jay Bellerose and Sebastian Steinberg come in it totally knocks me out every time. Having Greg Leisz on lap steel is the best ode to Lowell George we could have asked for. And then there are the guest vocalists… Man. Talk about a humbling experience. I will forever be in debt to Jackson Browne and Rickie Lee Jones for being willing to lend their voices to this track. The recording of this song with Sheldon Gomberg (Producer) marks a very special point in my career that I will always be grateful for.”

LISTEN:

Fires for the Cold is out September 13th. Check out tour dates below and visit jonahtolchin.com

Tour Dates:

September 27 – Pearl Street Warehouse — Washington, DC
September 28 — Devils Backbone Hoopla — Roseland, VA
September 30 — Cat’s Cradle Back Room — Carrboro, NC
October 2 — Eddie’s Attic — Decatur, GA
October 3 — The Basement — Nashville, TN
October 12 — Hopewell Theater — Hopewell, NJ
October 17 — Rockwood Music Hall — New York, NY
October 18 — Hope and Main — Warren, RI
October 23 — Club Passim — Cambridge, MA
October 24 — Riverwalk Café and Music Bar — Nashua, NH
October 25 — Parlor Room at Signature Sounds — Northampton, MA
October 26 — Caffe Lena — Saratoga Springs, NY

Photo credit: Joe Del Tufo

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