Jake Xerxes Fussell

Good And Green Again (Paradise of Bachelors)

Contact Sam McAllister about Jake Xerxes Fussell

Jake Xerxes Fussell unveils the new track, “Rolling Mills Are Burning Down,” off of his forthcoming album, Good and Green Again, out January 21st on Paradise of Bachelors. “Rolling Mills Are Burning Down,” with its distant keening strings and capacious sense of space, is simultaneously gorgeous and melancholy, with Fussell singing: “And them rolling mills are burning down // down to the ground // and they’ll never build them back anymore.” The track features piano by James Elkington, who also produced the record.


Good and Green Again is Fussell’s most conceptually focused and breathtakingly rendered album to date. As evident in previously released singles “Love Farewell,” “Breast of Glass,” and “Frolic,” Fussell is one of his generation’s preeminent interpreters of traditional (and not so traditional) “folk” songs, a practice which he approaches with a refreshingly unfussy lack of nostalgia and preciousness. By recontextualizing ancient vernacular songs and sources of the American South, he allows them to breathe and speak for themselves and for himself; he alternately inhabits them and allows them to inhabit him. In all his work, Fussell humanizes his material with his own profound curatorial and interpretive gifts, unmooring stories and melodies from their specific eras and origins and setting them adrift in our own waterways.


For Good and Green Again, Elkington and Fussell enlisted engineer Jason Richmond and a group of formidable players hailing from Durham, North Carolina (where Fussell lives) and elsewhere, including regular bandmembers Casey Toll (Mt. Moriah, Nathan Bowles) on upright bass, Libby Rodenbough (Mipso) on strings, and Nathan Golub on pedal steel. They were joined by welcome newcomers Joe Westerlund (Megafaun, Califone) on drums, Joseph Decosimo on fiddle, Anna Jacobson on brass, and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, who contributes additional vocals.