Jeff Tuohy takes you on a road trip through his Hudson Delta stomping grounds on his earthy and earnest new album — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Confidently and capably blending country, rock, Americana, blues, soul, jazz, Celtic and more, the Manhattan-based singer-songwriter’s third studio full-length is a sonic travelogue that encompasses the pulse of The Big Easy, the open skies of Hill Country, the Irish pubs of Manhattan, and the jagged mountain paths where Tuohy sleeps when hiking across Appalachia. “Once in a while, you arrive at a peak, look back on where you’ve been, and it all feels worthwhile,” he says. “This record is one of those summits.”
And one helluva party. Whether you’ve arrived fashionably late to Tuohy’s music or patiently waited for his next release, Hudson Delta takes you straight to the heart of the soiree. Aged 12 years in a hickory barrel and distilled through late nights on Bleecker Street, his music would fit right in on a playlist with the likes of Tom Waits, Van Morrision, Steve Earle and more. And it reflects Tuohy’s life as a downtown man with rural roots who infuses his big-city bravado with backroads grit.
Tuohy’s no stranger to long hauls, having seen a record deal crumble with the 2009 economy after his debut was featured on 100-plus radio stations across America. “I had a choice: make good on my professional degree, or double down on art,” he says. “I chose the latter.” That character-building journey spikes Hudson Delta with rugged authenticity. Co-produced by Latin Grammy-winner Brian Forbes (Emily King/Fernando Otero) and recorded in Brooklyn, the album spotlights Tuohy’s restless drive and insatiable creative curiousity. “Some weeks we’d play nine three-hour shows. That grind yields camaraderie. We’d finish 12-hour days, then cab over to friends playing in The Village or Lower East Side.”
Fittingly, the cast of Hudson Delta reads like a smoky night of New York City venue-hopping: Josh Dion (Paris Monster), Randy Schrager (Scissor Sisters/Jesse Malin) and Mike Nappi (Lucky Peterson) on drums; Dan Asher (Akie Bermiss/Gabe Dixon) on bass; Pat Firth (Bernhoft/John Forte) and Dave Archer (Kaki King/Uni) on keys; Jonathan Gregg (SUSS) and Dan Iead (Norah Jones) on pedal steel; Jeremy Goldsmith and Eric Ieraci on guitar; Colin Smith (MRNorth), Ari Hest, Sophia Ramos and Ramona Dunlap on background vocals; Tony DeMarco and members of 11th St. Bar’s Irish Seisuns; and Nick Biello (Slide Hampton/Jimmy Heath Big Band) co-arranging horns.
The first single/video, The Devil’s In New Orleans, was animated by Sao Paulo’s 77 Marcus (Archibald), matching the tune with noir expressionism. The second, Old Roads, follows Tuohy driving and reminiscing through his Connecticut hometown with co-direction by Learan Kahanov (Madam Secretary/Star Girl). But ultimately Hudson Delta makes it clear that for Tuohy, the trail forges on. “Touring cities, mountain towns, and islands birthed these songs. I can’t wait for the audience to sit shotgun on this next run.”