The Bumper Jacksons' latest album, I’ve Never Met A Stranger, toasts to the ways humanity bridges the divide between one another's souls. The title track - written and produced by their dotty leading man Chris Ousley - is an ode to exactly that kind of wonderful humanism. It's an album that should not be missed.
The title track, "I've Never Met A Stranger," was recorded at Airshow Mastering in Takoma Park, Maryland, and mastered by Grammy-winner Charlie Pilzer (Harry Lomax recordings).
A band like Bumper Jackson may feel pigeonholed by their specific sound. The buoyancy and universality which underpins "I've Never Met A Stranger" directly counters that. Inspired by their attendance at various 'fiddlers conventions' across the American South, the song captures those moments of camaraderie and warmth between seeming acquaintances, "good friends all around me, whose names I've forgot."
Despite their chosen niche, this is a band crackling with possibility. With "I've Never Met A Stranger" charging the way, 2017 promises to be their breakout year. In other words, they will not be doomed being the kind of artists regimented to Seymour from Ghost World's record collection. Especially with today's political environment, songs that assert music can engender a radical openness to others is bold and necessary.
"The sense that music is a tool for bridging hearts and minds is the driving creative force of the band since the beginning, but we really only became conscious of this idea during the making of this album," says Ousley.
"I've Never Met A Stranger" features guitar (acoustic and electric), pedal steel, upright bass, drums, trombone, trumpet, clarinet, bari sax
Also, peep their music video, complete with an assist from Washington Pedicab and BicycleSPACE: