INTERVIEW: Jarrod Dickenson on READY THE HORSES and UK Tour

Jarrod Dickenson

Photo: Josh Wool

Jarrod Dickenson talks to Frankly My Dear UK about his new album and headline UK tour

2017 is already proving to be a pretty big year for Jarrod Dickenson. Following his support set for The White Buffalo, the Texas-born singer-songwriter is about to release a brand new album and take to the road on a new headline UK tour. And we’ve just only just started the year!

Cutting his teeth on the Texas and Nashville circuit for 10 years, Dickenson’s first exposure to UK audiences came in 2013 when he supported David Ford for 15 UK tour dates. Following breakout performances at Glastonbury and Larmer Tree Festival, Dickenson quickly earned himself a loyal fan base in the UK including famous names such as Dermot O’Leary, Cerys Matthews, Huey Morgan, Janice Long, Robert Elms and Alex Lester.

READY THE HORSES is Dickenson’s third full-length album following THE LONESOME TRAVELER (2013) and ASHES ON THE GROUND (2010). Despite its roots being firmly grounded in Americana, the singer-songwriter actually recorded the new album here in the UK on a two inch tape reels previously used by Paul McCartney and Roger Daltrey in an attempt to produce a warmer sound.

“We were supporting The Waterboys for a month long tour of the UK and the day after that tour ended we went into the studio and cut everything live to two inch tape” explains Dickenson in an exclusive interview with Donna Kelly from Frankly My Dear UK.

“All of us were in the room together playing and singing live with a tape machine rolling. It was a fun and honest way to make a record and we all had a blast doing it.”

The new album mixes folk and Americana with country roots blues and soul and features ten new tracks all self-penned by Dickenson. The album is a worthy follow-up to the critically acclaimed THE LONESOME TRAVELER which he recorded with Grammy-winning producer/engineer Ryan Freeland back in 2013.

“The joy and excitement of being an artist or a songwriter is you can constantly learn, change and evolve. You don’t have to stick to one style, one genre or one feel, hopefully your songs grow as you grow.”

Alongside Dickenson’s distinctive folk/country sound, the album boasts a soulful feel to it, with a couple of tracks combining elements of gospel with rhythm and blues.

“There is a tune called WAY PAST MIDNIGHT on the album which is a soulful, Ray Charles esque – if I dare to say that, I certainly wouldn’t compare myself to Ray Charles – but the song is somewhere in that vein which is a lot of fun. It’s a pretty upbeat soulful tune with a horn section and big background vocals so that was a lot of fun to do live and I’m really happy with how the recording turned out.”

Jarrod Dickenson

Photo: Phil Keen

Alongside the new album launch, March also marks the start of a month-long UK tour for Dickenson who has toured the UK, Ireland and Europe extensively over the last several years bringing his own particular brand of soulful Americana to music loving audiences.

“The UK has been great to me over the last few years. We’ve steadily built a very loyal fan base there and the crowds are very open and ready to hear new music”

“In my experience, the fans in the UK seem more willing to actually listen and pay attention to the story and the song. When I first started touring the UK it was actually kind of jarring because the audiences were so quiet and as an American artist who had before then only played in America, I was used to a lot of chatter and beer bottles clanging around so you didn’t know if people where listening or if you were absolutely bombing. There is a certain respect that the British, Irish and European audiences give the performer. It’s a humbling thing really, it’s lovely.”

UK audiences also love Dickenson. Following his UK tour in summer 2013 – which included a sell-out date in London – Dickenson has also supported legendary artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Don McLean, The Stylistics and Jools Holland on their UK tours. In 2015, Dickenson was also asked to play at Glastonbury, the famous five-day music festival which takes place near Pilton, Somerset.

“Glastonbury was a blast. It was my first time and only time up to this point, of even attending the festival, much less playing it. That was crazy! I had seen pictures and I knew the numbers but until you’re there and you see it, you don’t understand it. The capacity of Glastonbury festival is equal to the size of the city I grew up in but the city I grew up in is very spread out. Glastonbury is in a very concentrated area and it’s almost like a giant refugee camp. It was exciting and cool and we got to see some amazing shows, we got to see Mavis Staples perform which was incredible”

Alongside Glastonbury, Dickenson also marks his support tour with Bonnie Raitt as a highlight of his musical career so far.

“We got to open up for Bonnie Raitt which was definitely a dream come true. I’ve been a fan of her music since I could walk and I actually got to get up on stage and sing with her which was a special thing.”

Jarrod Dickenson’s new album READY THE HORSES is released on 10 March 2017. You can also catch him on tour in the UK at the following venues.

March 2017 – Headline Tour

Thu 16 March – Empire Music Hall, Belfast
Sat 18 March – Hug & Pint, Glasgow
Sun 19 March – Cluny 2, Newcastle
Tue 21 March – Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich
Wed 22 March – Deaf Institute, Manchester
Thu 23 March – The Borderline, London
Sat 25 March – Dark Star Brewery, Partridge Green, West Sussex
Sun 26 March – Glee Club, Birmingham
Mon 27 March – Henry Tudor House, Shrewsbury