Today, the Dallas, Texas-based multi-instrumentalist and singer Burt Hussell is pleased to announce the forthcoming album High Desert, due for release June 16, 2023, as well as share the title-track from the LP and “Home,” previously only available on his Bandcamp. Read about it over at Under the Radar. Hussell has also shared a clip of himself performing “Home,” live in his home studio. Check that out here. The album was recorded at Sonic Ranch Studios. Hussell’s band on the album features bass player Tim Lefrebvre (David Bowie, The Black Crowes, Tedeschi Trucks Band), who also produced the album. Sonically, the LP features a grab bag of loop-based funk and psychedelic synth rock, tinged with comedic elements.
Speaking on “Home,” Hussell said, “This was the first song we recorded when we got into the studio. We were all very stoked and excited to get cookin’. This studio intern, Ayanna Riley, asked me if I was gonna be singing on this song. I wasn’t planning on it and she asked if she could. We set her up a mic, and she absolutely killed it. Took the song to a new level and actually gave the song some meaning. The lyrics in the song implore the listener, “Tell me where you wanna go.” I think that everyone that listens to the song will have their own place that they go, but for me, that place was home.”
On the album’s title track, Hussell said, “Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to go to the desert. Maybe it had something to do with my love of Star Wars. The closest thing to Tatooine. When Tim and I decided to record at Sonic Ranch, it seemed that I would finally get to fulfill that desire. When you listen to the song I hope you feel like I feel when you look up into the night sky in the high desert.”
High Desert Track Listing
Burt Hussell (born Marek Stanislaw Kafel) is a multi-instrumentalist based out of Dallas, Texas, getting ready to release his first full length studio album, High Desert. Recorded in the secluded studio complex Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas and produced by legendary bassist Tim Lefebvre, the album is a full on exploration into what a bass guitar can really do. The album is essentially a by-product of an epic grill n Chill that Burt and Tim always planned on throwing.
Burt Hussell had started his project in the winter of 2019. He had played the majority of his musical career as a drummer and a percussionist, backing many bands over the years since becoming active in 2006. Playing in many cover bands throughout the Dallas metroplex and playing auxiliary percussion in a national touring act Dezorah. “I had these tunes stuck in my head. I had decided that I needed to get them out and the only way I was gonna do that was by taking matters into my own hands. I couldn’t be stuck behind the kilt anymore. I bought a bass and got to work.”
During the pandemic, Burt released a debut EP, House of Hussell. He started a little project called “Moog Mondays,” where improv, loop-based synth jams were written, performed, filmed and recorded, and later released as a live recording called Electric Spaghetti. “Right before the lockdown happened, we got this bad ass Moog synth. I was like, I better sit down and learn to use this shit.” He posted those performances on instagram and gained the attention of Tim Lefebvre.
“I saw he was smoking a brisket during lockdown so I sent him a message saying hey man are you gonna mist that honky?” Opening a dialogue with the bass legend, Burt would learn that Tim was offering music lessons via Skype. It was at that moment that he knew he had the opportunity to take his bass playing to the next level. He scheduled a lesson with the master.
The lesson was mainly a laugh riot. “You ever meet someone and they just instantly feel like an old friend? That’s what it was like meeting Tim!” Laughs were had and numbers exchanged. “I came for a teacher but I left with a pal.” After some time and some training with Tim, Burt began writing High Desert. It was gonna be big and it was gonna be bodacious and it was gonna be all bass. Well…as much bass as possible. Burt brought Tim in as a producer for his album and in the spring of 2022, they met up In Studio A of Sonic Ranch.
Arriving and setting up at Sonic Ranch the sessions had begun. “We had a lot of fucking badass gear to set up, In a super badass studio with one of the most badass bassist in the world. I was kinda like how the fuck did I get here?!” The team almost instantly got to work. “We had like a 30 minute head scratching session on how we were gonna do this but once we got the formula down the music wouldn’t stop. From the first notes we all kinda knew what to do, it was like an epic battle but with basses instead of swords.”
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