Local Current Blog

Mason Jennings’ 10th album ‘Always Been’ coming this November

Mason Jennings at Minnesota Music-on-a-Stick (Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR)

We got a few little hints about Mason Jennings’ next record when he played Minnesota Music-on-a-Stick last month, and today he made the news official: Always Been, his 10 full-length album, will drop on November 12.

Each of his’ past few albums have stood out from his catalog for various reasons—2009’s Blood of Man was one of his grittiest and rock-oriented releases to date, while 2011’s Minnesota was a quieter, more piano-driven affair—and this new album seems to mark another shift in Jennings’ evolving sound. At least, that’s what we can glean from the 30-second preview he posted on his site today, which you can sample below.

Jennings teamed up with Iowa blues and folk legend Bo Ramsey to produce the new album, and it features contributions from Chad Cromwell (drums), Gordon Johnson (bass), David Mansfield (violin, viola) and members of the Pines. Perhaps because of the players on the album, the new material sounds like it would be at home on the Red House Records label, and sounds fuller and much closer to chamber folk than we’ve heard Jennings sounding in the past.

Always Been will be supported with a full tour this fall, ending with a pair of dates in the First Avenue Mainroom on December 6 and 7.