SONG PREMIERE: David Newbould Drops Fiery Blues Tanked Rocker “Power Up”

The highly influential Dan Auerbach run runs a label called Easy Eye Sound, which sparks a roots revival in the most traditionally haunting and quivering way possible. Artists that blend authentic life-worn lessons in the blues, country, and American soul music that reap poignant rewards for listeners of all generations. The blistering raw new single “Power Up” from David Newbould surely earns himself a shot with Mr. Auerbach soon as co-producer.

Glide is premiering the propulsive new single “Power Up” (below) from Newbould, where the lifer makes like The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in a grinding assault of guitars, horns junkyard soul, and vivacious directness.

“Power Up!” was going to close the album, but at the 11th hour it told me it needed to open it. I was in no position to argue with a song. After a solid year of pandemic life, powering up felt like the name of the game. It still does,” says Newbould.

Since kickstarting his career with 2007’s Big Red Sun, he’s made his mark as a heartland roots-rocker, Americana artist, and amplified folksinger, writing songs that chart the ups and downs of an adulthood often spent onstage and on the road. He turns a new page with his fourth full-length studio album, Power Up!, a record whose messages of persistence and unshakeable survival are driven forward by the grease, grit, and guitar-driven swagger of rock & roll. 

Recorded with producer/collaborator Scot Sax (Wanderlust) during a global pandemic that brought both musicians’ schedules to a halt, Power Up! is an album for the modern moment. These are songs about taking stock of the present, counting one’s blessings, and putting one foot in front of the other. Newbould recorded the tracks in a makeshift basement studio in Sax’s Nashville home, with the two musicians separated by a pane of glass for health’s sake. Sax played drums, bass, and other instruments, while Newbould handled lead guitar and vocal duties. They worked together as a self-contained unit, only reaching out to friends like Newbould’s live band and Americana Music Award-winning violinist Kristin Weber (who contributed to the album’s cover of Crystal Gayle’s “Ready for the Times to Get Better”) for guest appearances. Steadily, Power Up! took shape during six months of quarantined recording sessions.  

“We both love albums from the 1970s, when artists had total freedom in the studio and were pushing boundaries, experimenting with sounds, and having fun,” says Newbould. “That’s the vibe we achieved with this album, too. It’s a basement rock & roll record. Some guitar solos have mistakes in them, but they have a vibe, too, so we kept them. Some drum tracks were recorded with an iPhone. We didn’t get too precious with it.” 

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