New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
October 14 will see the release of the studio recording of Carl Sandburg’s Chicago
Poems, a new project from Brooklyn singer/musician/composer David
Nagler. A song cycle created out of 16 Carl Sandburg poems, the record features a host of guests hailing from or associated with Chicago, including Jeff Tweedy
of Wilco, Robbie Fulks, Jon Langford & Sally Timms of the Mekons, Kelly
Knox and more.
Today, Vulture premiered "Theme In Yellow," featuring vocals from Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. Stream the song via Soundcloud:
"'Theme in Yellow" was one of the final songs to be written for the Carl Sandburg’s Chicago
Poems project. All the music was recorded in 2015 at The Magic Shop in NYC – where David
Bowie recorded his last two records, The Next Day and Blackstar – drums, upright bass, nylon string guitar, and piano in June, and a string quintet in July," said Nagler about the track.
"I recorded several of the other Chicago
guests on the record in August at the Wilco
Loft, which was hooked up through the incredible kindness of singer Kelly
Hogan and studio manager Mark Greenberg. Mark told Jeff Tweedy
about the project and asked if he would be up for singing a song on the record. Jeff said he was interested, but was also busy recording new Wilco
material. He found some time after the new year, and delivered a beautiful performance that truly made the song his own. I received the tracks of Jeff’s vocal on January 6, which also happened to be Carl Sandburg’s birthday."
The album was recorded in 2015 at a number of studios including The Magic Shop in NYC (where David
Bowie secretly recorded his last two records) and the Wilco
Loft in Chicago, with an 11-person ensemble comprised of musicians who have played with LCD Soundsystem, Björk, D’Angelo, Pulp, David
Byrne & St. Vincent, Vampire Weekend, and others. The record was produced by Nagler and film composer Max Avery Lichtenstein (Jesus’ Son, Tarnation), and co-arranged with Jon Natchez (The War on Drugs, Beirut).
Carl Sandburg’s collection Chicago
Poems was published 100 years ago in 1916. Including well-known poems like “Chicago” (“Hog Butcher for the World / Tool Maker / Stacker of Wheat”) and “Fog” (“The fog comes / on little cat feet”), the collection was highly-regarded for its style, topicality, and immediacy, and helped establish Sandburg as the “people’s poet.” Sandburg would go on to be known as the definitive Renaissance Man: poet, journalist, biographer, musician, and orator.
The album weaves together a variety of influences: folk music (Carl Sandburg was the compiler of the influential collection The American Songbag); American orchestral composers such as Aaron
Copland and Charles Ives; Americana pop singer/songwriters such as David
Ackles, Randy Newman, and Van Dyke Parks; and Chicago's still-thriving live music scene, where open-minded musicians intertwine rock, country, free jazz and countless other genres every night of the week.
Nagler is the musical director for Wesley
Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders at City Winery, where he has played with over 100 different artists including Rosanne Cash, Aaron
Neville, Fred Armisen, Steve Earle, and Andrew Bird. He was the “feral choir” conductor and arranger for the Mekons on their new album/book/video Existentialism. He is also the host of The Oracle Show at NYC piano bar Sid Gold's Request Room, and the founder and frontperson of NY metropolitan area pop group Nova Social.
3) Happiness - vocals by Sally Timms
9) Under a Hat Rim - vocals by Jon Langford
10) Child of the Romans - vocals by Daniel
11) Under the Harvest Moon - vocals & arrangement by Robbie Fulks
12) Nocturne in a Deserted Brickyard
13) Theme in Yellow - vocals by Jeff Tweedy
14) Child - vocals by The Cornhuskers: Gerald Dowd, James
Hogan, Chris Mills, Nora O’Connor, and Deanna Varagona
16) Under a Telephone Pole
All other vocals by David
9/24: Flat Rock, NC - Friends
of Carl Sandburg 2016 @ Flat Rock Playhouse
10/16: New York, NY - Joe's Pub
10/27: Chicago, IL - Poetry Day @ Chicago