Video Premiere: Jerry Joseph with Drive By Truckers “Days of Heaven”

Though less well-known on our side of the pond, Jerry Joseph is a hugely respected songwriter, championed by the likes of Jason Isbell and Patterson Hood of Drive By Truckers. Indeed the Truckers are such fans of his work that Hood has produced Joseph’s upcoming album and the band have backed him on the new record.  Today, we’re announcing that the new album ‘The Beautiful Madness’ will drop on 21st August on Decor Records and we’re celebrating with this fabulous video premiere of ‘Days of Heaven’.

‘The Beautiful Madness’ is not only produced by Patterson Hood but he also wrote the liner notes for Jerry’s first proper European release. It is Jerry’s unapologetic manifesto on “what in the hell is going on with the world written with concern only for shining a light on the truth. Sometimes he can hit you with a sledgehammer but usually it’s a slowburn, building with each line of vivid and raw lyrics as the truth of his stories are revealed.” The album was recorded at Matt Patton’s studio, Dial Back Sound, in Water Valley, Mississippi with the Stiff Boys aka all the Drive-By Truckers backing him up on the music for every song. It was also the first time the Truckers recorded with Jason Isbell since he left the band in 2007, Isbell playing slide guitar on the searing ballad ‘Dead Confederate’, which Hood says is “one of the best songs about prejudice and racial hatred that I have ever heard.

The album runs the whole gamut of Jerry’s songwriting from heavy ballads to rolling upbeat alt-country tunes to his darker than dark epic and brooding ‘Sugar Smacks’ which sees no stone left unturned on his take of the modern #metoo world.  He also pays tribute to David Bowie on ‘Black Star Line’ written around the first time he saw him in 1974 on the Diamond Dogs tour.  ‘The Beautiful Madness’ was written in Mexico, Marin Country, CA and South Africa, a small example of where Jerry’s wanderlust has led him. Jerry has spent years travelling the world’s more far-flung, under-explored locales and has experienced firsthand the power of music to unify. This understanding inspired him to found NOMAD Music Foundation, a non-profit to provide music and instruments to children in war zones. He has travelled to Kurdistan and Afghanistan, where he has donated guitars to teenagers in refugee camps, giving them lessons and hope along the way.

The song which we’re premiering today, album opener ‘Days of Heaven’ builds into a driving exploration of yearning nostalgia.  This feeling is reinforced by the ‘found’ video footage interspersed with a recording of a live performance.  “‘Days of Heaven’ is taken from the title from a film I hadn’t seen in 30 years.” explains Jerry. “I wrote it in El Sauzal, Mexico. It’s about dealing with marriage or long term relationships, the extreme high and lows and, more interestingly, the middle of marriages. Patterson Hood came up with the  bridge, a whole cinematic prairie goodness that actually makes the song and lines, and makes me cry when I sing it. We cut it with the Truckers in three takes.” It’s some performance.  Joseph’s characterful vocal is buoyed by Drive By Truckers on top form.  Lyrically beautiful and personal, this showcases Joseph’s ability to craft a fine song.  And in these strange times,  it’s nice to absorb something joyful, uplifting and to hear someone sing out loud that, “These are the days of heaven.”

About Andrew Frolish 1383 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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David Pardo

This is a great article introducing new fans to the genius (and madness) of Jerry Joseph. Can’t wait for the record release! Nice work.

MK Gehring

Nice article! Thanks for the video of “Days of Heaven”. What a great song. Can’t wait for the whole album!

Andrew Mount

Jerry Joseph is the real deal. He deserves to be heard, and I would argue that he NEEDS to be heard. His band’s not to shabby here, either. Don’t miss out, readers. Buy this album, tell others about it, and go see Jerry live when you get the chance. You won’t be disappointed.

Joe Kempler

Jerry JOSEPH is a musical genius. This article is great and the video is even better! Thanks to you all!

El Duderino

Kudos! The author does Jerry Joseph justice here. One of the greatest songwriters of all time. Give a listen!

Daniel Pollack

What an amazing opportunity for Europe to be reintroduced to one of the Worlds most beloved songwriters. America, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Israel and the Middle East and now UK…..

Jason serdar

Wow great read! Amazing video!

Matt Wold

Great article! I go see Jerry play any chance I get, whether with the Jackmormons, solo, or with anybody else. He’ll tell you a story behind that song when you see him live.

Lewy Levine

“Amazing in its grace!”
Very nice article and a cool video to kick it off! Jerry Joseph is an amazing artist! His new album backed by the Drive By Truckers is a real treat combining one of the best songwriters with one of America’s finest bands. Bask in the musical madness!

Jen Pentecost

The music of Jerry Joseph has changed my life, in more ways than one. From his songwriting and ripping guitar playing to his ability to make you feel completely raw. He may be less well known on your side of the pond, but this is a great opportunity to let him be more known. Thanks for the great article and video.

Charlie Freeman

Man, I love this song! Can’t wait to hear the entire record!

steve washick

they played most of the record live in Athens, GA on Feb. 15. You can download the show from multiple sites…..Google that sht!

steve washick

the first time I saw DBT was in Portland on NYE 12-31-01. I flew in from Florida. They opened for Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons and Jason Isbell was about 4 months into his DBT journey. The night before, Cooley, Patterson & Isbell did an acoustic set opening for Jerry. It was an amazing weekend and I’m 100% ride or die with Jerry Joseph and anything Drive-By Truckers going forward. “good food and good wine….and big waves 20 yards off the porch…” Jerry Joseph, Portland 12-30-01

Nicole Nesser

Days of Heaven became one of my favorite songs the first time I heard it and it’s only gotten better. Eagerly anticipating the release of the Beautiful Madness so I can listen to the rest of the album… and excited for the current madness to mellow so I can dance to it live!