Austin Lucas—Americana Heartland rocker with bluegrass pedigree—will be releasing his latest album Immortal Americans on August 17th via Cornelius Chapel Records. Co-produced by Lucas and Will Johnson of Centro-matic, and engineered and recorded by Steve Albini, it captures Austin returning to his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, both spiritually and physically after years hacking away at the business in Nashville and elsewhere.
Immortal Americans is said to be birthed out of a period of incredible hardship, heartbreak, and perseverance for Austin. After shedding 100 pounds, an oppressive contract with New West Records, getting sober, and losing his long-time canine companion Sally, he’s back in Bloomington where after overcoming other struggles, found out his girlfriend had Cancer. Holding her hand through surgery and chemo treatments created the somber backdrop for the record, as well as the underlying story of determination.
Austin Lucas says that seeing the state of affairs in his hometown of Bloomington also helped inspire the record. “I was watching the changes in Bloomington and reflecting upon the changes in my own life. Not all of this is happy stuff, but there’s hope. There’s light in the darkness. I really do believe in second and third chances, because I know how many chances I’ve received. You have to keep fighting, because that’s what makes life worth living.”
While Austin’s music career has been defined by vacillating between hard rockers and country kickers mixed in with acoustic balladry, he says the approach with Immortal American will be much more sedated and organic. The tracks were cut live and analog, and his father, bluegrass musician Bob Lucas, showed up to lend some banjo.
“I wanted it to sound like human beings playing instruments,” says Lucas, “I knew the best thing for this batch of songs was for them to sound as organic as possible. I sang live, playing guitar at the same time, and we worked very quickly. It was an in-the-moment kind of album.”
Austin Lucas is well-categorized right beside bands like Lucero and the Drive-By Truckers who bring a lot of heart to country rock, as well as solo singer/songwriters artists such as SCM Song of the Year winners Matt Woods, Justin Wells, and Lydia Loveless who can pierce your soul with the pen.
The title track can be heard below, and Immortal Americans is now available for pre-order on Bandcamp.
1. Immortal Americans
2. Killing Time
4. Monroe County Nights
5. My Mother and the Devil
6. Eye of an Asp
7. The Shadow and Marie
8. Between the Leaves
9. Goat and Goose
10. Shallow Inland Sea