Between 2002 and 2012, Birmingham, Alabama-based rock band 13ghosts released 6 records to critical success but found little financial stability. Led by songwriters Brad Armstrong and Buzz Russell, the group reveled in merging dilapidated folk arrangements, ‘70s pop melodies and Southern rock rhythms into a noise that clung tightly to your contours of your bones and brain. After 2008, however Russell left, leaving Armstrong as the sole songwriter, and the band subsequently released only 2 more albums before disbanding.
In 2014, Armstrong moved his family to the Hudson Valley in New York and continued to work on some songs which he’d written and recorded while still living in Alabama. These tracks would go on to become “Empire,” his first solo record, featuring collaborations with Jason Lucia (13ghosts, Heath Green and the Makeshifters), Maria Taylor (Azure Ray), Jason Taylor and Sue Nuckols. Released in January of 2016 via Cornelius Chapel Records, it continues the varied musical experiments of his previous band while also carving out an insular musical niche for Armstrong as a solo artist. Throughout his time in Birmingham, and on through his move to the Hudson Valley – since 2008, in fact – he remained a contributing member of country-punk rockers The Dexateens.
In 2018, Cornelius Chapel Records approached Armstrong about re-issuing “Empire” on vinyl. He countered by asking whether they wanted to just release a record of new material. The label responded by asking if they could simply do both. Armstrong agreed, and “Empire” was released in August of last year while the new album, “I Got No Place Remembers Me,” was released last week on April 19. Filled with vivid doses of Southern garage rock and soulful meditations on internal and infernal consequences, the record is introspective but also fueled by a fiery rock and roll soul.
Armstrong recently released the video for album cut “St. Lucia,” a minimalist acoustic wonder that echoes with the pluck of guitar strings, subtle piano rhythms, martial percussion and a voice that burrows deep inside the caverns of your body. The accompanying video is simple but affecting, with various images overlaid with one another, creating a dreamlike atmosphere which completely surrounds and overtakes your senses. There’s no rush, no overriding emotional urgency here, only the hazy appearance of trees, waterfalls and the occasional human element to stand in contrast to Armstrong’s elusive musical movements.
Check out Armstrong’s upcoming tour dates below the video.
04/30 – Seasick Records In-Store Performance in Birmingham, AL
05/01 – Standard Deluxe w/ Taylor Hollingsworth in Waverly, AL
05/02 – The Nick w/ Will Stewart in Birmingham, AL
05/03 – Waller’s Coffee Shop w/ Taylor Hollingsworth and Adam Klein in Atlanta, GA
05/04 – Sunstroke House w/ Taylor Hollingsworth in Columbus, MS