This record is, in its purest form, American music. The artist formerly known as Aaron Livingston knows his nation and its sounds well. Born to a preacher and a teacher in Los Angeles, where he learned how to listen and how to play before moving east to New York and New Jersey. He dropped in and out of schools and scenes in Manhattan then Philadelphia, and there he collaborated with acts like The Roots and RJD2. He first planted his flag as Son Little with last year’s highly praised EP, Things I Forgot, a small collection of big songs that showcased his ability to hop across genres as well as he does state lines.
The songs on Son Little’s full length teem with small moments creating a bigger picture, a pointillist art piece made from junkyards and viewed from space. Pulling inspiration from the color wheel diaspora of American music, Son Little draws from a deep well, using different buckets to visit and revisit, finding flourishes to add to the core of his songs. There, at the end of “Doctor’s In,” is a roving banjo; there, at the start of “Go Blue Blood Red,” is a keyboard riff culled from a kid’s Blue Man Group keyboard; there, in “Carbon,” is an electric Howlin’ Wolf stomp and start. For Son Little, studio time is a joy, where every good idea leads to four more.
released October 16, 2015
In loving tribute to Ben Austin, Richard Nichols, and Maye Rucker.
The Livingston and Rucker families and all the cousins, aunts and uncles…and my two favorite people on planet earth— Zajahia Rice-Livingston and Senai Earl Makonnen Livingston; Attica Jacques and Gil Grimmett; Michael Gibney, Charlie Raboteau, Martin Raboteau; Nimrod Ben-Reuven, Alec Coiro and Hot Lixx video team; Stephen Greenberg, Jesse Maynard, rjd2, and the Icebird band fam, Ryan Schwabe, Ian Bennett, Rhys and Kat Coiro, the Roots and Okayplayer, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah; Andy Kaulkin and all everyone at Anti/Epitaph Records; Lionel Conway and Mothership Publishing; the folks at Because Music, Tom Windish, Sharyn Goldyn, Ryan Farlow…and my two favorite people on planet earth— Zajahia Rice-Livingston and Senai Earl Makonnen Livingston.
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