Long one of my favorite musicians and a three time interview subject, I'm looking forward to this. Read on for more info...
Twenty-five years after the release of his debut album, celebrated author, NPR personality and singer/songwriter Wesley Stace, formerly known by his stage name John Wesley Harding, returns with Self-Titled, his first ever record under his given name, September 17 on Yep Roc Records.
Stace chose not to use his well-established stage name for Self-Titled due to the considerably more personal nature of the new songs. “Novels seem to take care of the intellectual business for me these days, and my songs have become a lot more intimate and autobiographical, requiring a different musical treatment entirely. It seemed ridiculous to sing them under any name but my own,” notes Stace, adding, “It’s time to bring everything under one roof.”
Self-Titled features two songs, “When I Knew” and “Stare At The Sun,” co-written with the Fiery Furnaces’ Eleanor Friedberger. Both tracks appear in alternate versions on Personal Record, Friedberger’s critically acclaimed new record co-written with Stace. SPIN hails the pair’s “easy collaboration” while NPR Music notes that Harding “knows a little something about smart love songs of every stripe.” The Wall Street Journal is premiering Stace’s Self-Titled version of “When I Knew” at http://on.wsj.com/104VFMZ. Please see below for a complete track listing.
Along with the new record, Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders, the ongoing variety show that draws together collaborators from the worlds of music, literature and comedy all hand-picked by Stace, is set for its second season of exclusive radio distribution by NPR.
Recorded live at NYC’s City Winery and airing in six one-hour episodes beginning this summer, the Cabinet of Wonders will also travel to The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on May 30 for a special live show.
In addition to his storied recording career, Stace is also the author of three novels (including the international bestseller Misfortune), teaches a course called “How to Write a Song” at Princeton University with poet Paul Muldoon and is artist-in-residence at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he has also taught creative writing.
He and his work have recently been the subject of a course at Central Connecticut State University titled “The Allusive John Wesley Harding.” Stace is also currently contributing to The New York Times’ Measure For Measure blog at http://nyti.ms/11zz0UY. His most recent novel, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer, was published to rave reviews. Fourth novel, Wonderkid, is due in March, 2014 from Overlook Press.
Since his critically acclaimed 1988 debut It Happened One Night John Wesley Harding has recorded 19 records for both major (Sire, Hollywood) and independent (Mammoth, Rhino, Appleseed, Yep Roc) labels alike.
WESLEY STACE, SELF-TITLED
1. The Dealer’s Daughter
2. When I Knew
3. Goodbye Jane
4. Letting Go
5. We Will Always Have New York
6. A Canterbury Kiss
8. Stare at the Sun
9. Only Thing Missing
10. Ride Your Camel
11. Wrong for the Part
12. Pieces of the Past
14. The Wrong Tree
15. The Bedroom You Grew Up In
16. The Woman