It's been close to eight years since Chuck E. Weiss delivered his 23rd & Stout, but the veteran blues player is about to make his return. The solo artist's punnily titled Red Beans and Weiss will be his first for new label home Anti-, and it hits stores April 15.
Weiss began work on the set back in the fall of 2012 following some encouragement from his friends Johnny Depp and Tom Waits, who both serve as executive producers on Red Beans and Weiss. Over the course of the next year and a half, Weiss wrote the record and split up recording sessions at Los Angeles studios the Village and Studio 80. Apparently, he thrived via a relaxed schedule with no real time constraints.
"Listen, I enjoy the process, man," Weiss said in a statement. "The process of writing new songs and getting in the studio. There's nothing like it. Especially since this time around I didn't have somebody staring over me saying time's up, come back tomorrow. No time constraints. I made it on spec. Didn't feel like I had to rush through things."
The 13-song set is currently being teased via first single "Boston Blackie," a raw blues tribute to the fictional thief of the same name that was adapted into novels, films and TV shows. You can hear that track down below.
According to press materials, the set also has Weiss delivering a song about a feral cat he rescued ("Shushie"), saluting the Rolling Stones ("Exile on Main Street Blues") and discussing the politics of World War II ("Bomb the Tracks").
"I've always been afraid to die," he said in reference to the latter. "When I was about 17 or 18 it occurred to me that, okay, these trains are going down the tracks to the death camps, and Russia and the U.S. and England have planes, so why didn't we bomb those tracks? So trains couldn't get to death camps. A mystery to me why it never happened."
Red Beans and Weiss:
3. Boston Blackie
4. That Knucklehead Stuff
5. Bomb the Tracks
6. Exile on Main Street Blues
7. Kokamo (Boy Bruce)
8. Hey Pendejo
9. Dead Man's Shoes
10. Old New Song
11. The Hink-a-Dick
12. Oo Poo Pa Do In the Rebop
13. Willy's in the Pee Pee House