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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Incoming! Big Wolf Band

 


Big Wolf Band announced the release of Living on Borrowed Time the second single taken from their forthcoming studio album Rebel’s Journey.


The new single is released Friday February 16th, and is available on all streaming platforms from https://ditto.fm/living-on-borrowed-time. Watch the official music video on YouTube HERE.


The highly anticipated new album, Rebel's Journey, released Friday April 19th and is now available to pre-order from www.bigwolfband.com/shop.


News of the new single follows Big Wolf Band’s nomination for UK Blues Band of the Year at the 2023 UK Blues Awards. Vote for Big Wolf Band at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/KID7IP/


Hailed by music pundits as most highly anticipated album collection of songs of their career, Rebel’s Journey is the second instalment of the Rebel’s trilogy of albums. Joining forces once more with esteemed producer Mark Stuart and studio engineer maestro Sheena Sear at M2 Studios for their third studio album.


"Living on Borrowed Time" has real rocking feel to it, but again, the Big Wolf Band manages to keep the links to the blues to create their own unique sound, fours to the floor. Powerful lyrics depicting a hidden battle.


“This song is about battling depression and how sometimes you feel like you are living on borrowed time,” says Big Wolf Band’s guitarist and lead singer, Jonathan Earp. “I have felt in the past that I am looking over my shoulder, what happens if the next episode is the last and the black dog finally gets me. This really does tell that battle I have with those negative thoughts.”


The running time of Living on Time Borrowed is 3:45. The IRSC code is UKJRC2400015.


The new album is about the growth of the band and frontman’s Jonathan Earp’s personal journey. Big Wolf Band have built a reputation as being one of the best live bands on the circuit, delivering dynamic shows with an expansive range of self-penned songs that cover all flavours of blues rock that truly makes them unique. Rebel’s Journey reinforces this bands creativity, musicianship, and delivery. Each song having its own identity but still that unmistakable Big Wolf sound. The band’s ability to drift between genres while keeping their own sound is a big selling point amongst followers of the band.


The first single off the album and racing out of the blocks is Empire and a Prayer. This is a high energy, pedal to metal riff-based guitar track. It hits you with flavours of southern rock, Americana and hints of the blues, laced with catchy vocal hooks, driving piano and powerful drums. 


The song is about escapism, getting away from it all and in this case taking a drive in your favourite car to forget your daily worries. The track is also a little nod to a friend who has provided help to the band in the past. The backing vocals on this track and on the rest of the album is the wonderful Zoe Green. This song demonstrates the band’s ability to move through the gears with ease and ultimately demonstrates a more rocking sound. This track was co-written by Jonathan Earp and Justin Johnson.


“Rebel’s Journey highlights my own personal battle with my mental and physical health,” says vocalist and guitarist Jonathan Earp. “I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (HEDS) which affects everything. I had surgery in mid-2019 during our “Be Free” tour to repair damage to my right shoulder, dislocations, and nerve pain. Unfortunately, the operation caused more pain and numbness and for nearly 2 years I struggled to play; some days to even hold a plectrum."


"Songs like Standing in the Rain, Black Dog Blues and Living on Borrowed Time are about the battles I had during those dark days. My condition will always be a challenge but one I live with and continue to prove doubters wrong.”


Continues Jonathan, “the album isn’t all doom and gloom, despite being in the blues genre. “Empire and a Prayer, my first co-written song with Justin Johnson, as well as Got Me Reeling and Living on Borrowed Time. We have had many a joke with my dark writing style, Justin brings the light and love. Rise Together is one of the songs on the album I am proud of and is all about the power of love, rising together and that anything is possible.”


Mick, Justin, Robin, and Tim played out of their skin. Mark and Sheena as always bringing it all together. Big Shout out to Zoe Green for adding some amazing backing vocals. We even managed a first in the studio's history by getting Sheena to add some gang vocals along with my wife on Rise Together.” As the title of the album suggests, it has been one hell of a journey”. “The most challenging song on the album was Standing in the Rain. It’s a big old ballad of a song, lots of moving parts, orchestral parts, stops, starts and even a thunderstorm. Everyone delivered big time on this album.


2024 also sees Big Wolf Band hit a big milestone reaching their 10th year together as a band. From humble beginning as a 3-piece to the big sound they deliver now as a 5-piece. “Rebel’s Journey” is a fitting name for the album and their 10th year together. The band undertake their biggest headline tour to date adding dates in Germany and the Czech Republic. 


Rebel's Journey - Track Listing


1. Empire and a Prayer (3:57)

2. Valley of the Fallen Kings (5:58)

3. Lay it on the Line (3:48)

4. Rise Together (4:06)

5. Six Strings Loaded (4:19)

6. Black Dog Blues (6:07)

7. Standing in the Rain (7:24)

8. Living on Borrowed Time (3:46)

9. Got Me Reeling (4:32)

10. Crazy Love (3:32)

11. Darker Side of You (4:40)

12. Just a Little Bit    (5:26)

13. Too Many Times (4:20)


Production Credits


All songs written by Jonathan Earp except Empire and a Prayer, Got Me Reeling and Living on Borrowed Time Written by Jonathan Earp and Justin Johnson.

Lead guitar and vocals – Jonathan Earp

Bass – Mick Jeynes

Drums – Tim Jones

Rhythm Guitar and backing vocals – Justin Johnson

Piano and Hammond organ – Robin Fox

Backing vocals – Zoe Green

Addition Vocals on Rise Together – Tracey Earp and Sheena Sear

Shaker, Tambourine, and kitchen sink – Mark Stuart

Produced by Mark Stuart and Jonathan Earp

Mixed by Mark Stuart and Sheena Sear

Mastered by Sheena Sear

Chief Studio Entertainment – Ralf and Susie (M2 Studio dogs)

Recorded and mastered at M2 Studios

Album artwork – Daniel Lloyd

Single Artwork – Jonathan Earp and Daniel Lloyd


Album Track By Track


Empire and a Prayer - This track is the first collaboration between me and Justin,” says Jonathan. “I had all the music and Justin added the lyrics. The song is all about getting in car and going for a drive to clear your head, certainly helps if it’s a nice car! The title is a nod to a friend Mark who helped us out by driving us to a lot of gigs.”


Valley of the Fallen Kings - “This track has it all and gives a different twist to the story of the crossroads and making a deal with the devil,” says Jonathan. “The production on this has a bit of everything on it, 12 and 6 string acoustic guitars and Mark and Sheena really deliver on putting it all together. It is a big old song and one that is fun to play live.”


Lay it on the Line - “This track has the traditional Big Wolf feel, if that’s a thing” says Jonathan. “A blues drenched number with a variation on the typical blues turn arounds. The track has some lovely dynamics in it, drop down section that builds nicely into a solid blues solo. I really dig into some simplistic but powerful bluesy guitar vibes. My guitar influences seeping through my playing. Robin adding a funky style piano, Zoe with those stunning backing vocals really added to the whole vibe.


Rise Together - As in previous albums, the band isn’t afraid to flex its songwriting muscles and produce an anthem style song in “Rise Together”, this song has southern, country and roots vibes to it with some amazing vocals and harmonies. Jonathan says “This song was the most I have ever been pushed vocally by Mark. Lots of praise to Mark for his input on this track. A very subtle change in the melody and the song came alive. I love the vocal arrangements on this track, Mark and Sheena are such an essential part to the Big Wolf sound. Zoe shines on this track with her harmonies, a massive team effort overall. I wrote this song about my amazing son and my brilliant soon to be daughter -in-law and, how they have grown in their relationship, love has such power. If you stand together anything is possible.”


Six Strings Loaded - A throwback bluesy rock filled adventure. Lyrically this song is about making a deal with the devil to get his soul back. This song has an old school rock feel about it while keeping a blues feel. Zoe’s gospel style backing vocals adds another flavour and Mick Jeynes bass line is killer on this track. Mick adds “Jon had a swampy Andy Fraser type bass line already prepared for this track and so it was a pleasure to try and work on his ideas. Jon gave me free reign to experiment a bit in the bridge and so it was great to throw in the odd minor pentatonic fill in for that part.”


Black Dog Blues - Classic Big Wolf Band vibes all over this track, powerful, dynamic, and moody. Jonathan says, “It’s about battling those dark thoughts, depression creeping in and how sometimes no matter how hard you try it still gets you. From a song point of view this was great song to record, and the backbone of the track is provided by that solid unit of Mick and Tim. Robin adds some stunning Hammond runs on this song as well that really gives it that feel.”


Standing in the Rain - “This is probably the biggest sounding song we have ever recorded,” says Jonathan. “This track was a mammoth undertaking and at the early stages of song selection nearly didn’t make the cut. I had the guitar line and some other bits but was struggling pulling it all together. After a bit of perseverance, it came together. I am not afraid to say I have my struggles with mental health and this song is about being lost in a deep depression, seeing how much you are loved but feeling totally detached from it. I am super proud of this song and everyone’s contribution on it.”


Living on Borrowed Time - This track has real rocking feel to it but again the Big Wolf Band manages to keep the links to the blues to create their own unique sound, fours to the floor. Powerful lyrics depicting a hidden battle. Jonathan describes “Another song about battling depression and how sometimes you feel like you are living on borrowed time. I have felt in the past that I am looking over my shoulder, what happens if the next episode is the last and the black dog finally gets me. This really does tell that battle I have with those negative thoughts.”


Got Me Reeling - Catchy blues drenched feel to this. Mick and Tim really at the forefront on this song, providing an amazing groove for the rest of the band to bounce off. Catchy vocal melodies, hook lines and solo that build nicely. The third song co-written by Jonathan and Justin.


Crazy Love - Funky up-tempo bluesy groove on this song. High energy, dynamic and catchy. Jonathan adds “This one if from the locker. I think I originally wrote this way back in 2012 but kept it on ice. Sometimes you just wait for the right time to bring a song into existence, Justin was very eager to get this one on the album. This was a lot of fun to record and remember.”


Darker Side of You - This is a dark and moody number about when love falls apart. This song has a catchy guitar hook and some soulful backing vocals provided by Zoe. Again, this has that Big Wolf sound, the production on this is perfectly simplistic. Jonathan adds “I sometimes like to write about a subject matter or a scenario rather than my own life. This song tells the story about one person coming to terms that they are in a bad relationship, trying to hold it all together but it is a toxic relationship. Robin adds some nice piano on this track. Simplistically beautiful”


Just a Little Bit - Groovy number with some nice flavours of the blues, fun, energetic song with some nice backing vocals and a dirty bassline. Jon says “This is an upbeat little number that just grooves along nicely. Telling a story of holding in there and having that one person that makes it all ok.”


Too Many Times - This is song is dynamic, powerful, subtle with a strong message given the times we live in. It is a fitting way to finish the album with some sobering thoughts. Jonathan adds his thoughts “We really have learned nothing, we still crave war, civilization hasn’t evolved yet has it? The powers that be are always seeking out the next war for profit and greed, leaving a world divided by hatred. I hope one day we find a way to live together in peace, after all we are living a tiny planet hurtling through the galaxy.”


Rebel's Journey 2024 Tour Dates


Tickets: www.bigwolfband.com/tour-dates


FEBRUARY

23rd February - Blues at the Bay, Stockton on Tees

25th February - Half Moon Putney*


MARCH / APRIL

1st March - Wirral Blues Club, Wirral

2nd March - Borough Blues Club, Wales

12th March - REICHENBACH, DE

13 March - KOLÍN, CZ

14 March - Banská Štiavnica, SK

15 March - BUDIŠOV NAD BUDIŠOVKOU, CZ

16 March - ZNOJMO, CZ

17 March - VALAŠSKÉ MEZIŘÍČÍ, CZ

22 March - Leeds Blues Club

23 March - Beastie Fest Leeds

29 March - The Bear, Luton

31 March - Nantwich Jazz and Blues

5 April – Temperance Leamington Spa.

12 April - Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury

14 April - Bromley Blues Club

20 April - Blues at the Barleylands, Billericay

21 April - Hope Tavern, Market Rasen

26 April - Bosworth Blues Festival


MAY / JUNE / JULY

11 May - Macclesfield Beer Festival

24 May - Saltburn Blues Club, Redcar

25 May - Booze and Blues Leicester.

7 June - Lamp Tavern, Dudley

13 June - Red Arrow Music Club, Ramsgate

16 June - Blues Weekend at the Toorak Hotel

23 June - Bluefunk Rhythm and Blues Club, Poynton (double Header with CBO)

5 July – Alfold Rock and Blues Festival, Alfold


AUGUST

9 August – Darlington R&B Club

16 August Warrington Blues Club

17 August - Old Bush Blues Festival

23 August Colne R&B Festival

24 August – Rory Gallagher Festival, Nantwich

25 August - Congleton Jazz and Blues


SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

6 September - Nene Valley Festival

15 September - Red Lion, Stevenage

20 September - Joe Joe Jim’s Birmingham

4 October - Backstage at the Green – Kinross

5 October - Calendar Jazz & Blues

12 October – Boat shack, Upton Warren


NOVEMBER / DECEMBER

1 November - Colne Delta Blues and Americana Club

23 November - Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton

13 December - Emsworth Music Club


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