The Black Swans’ Jerry DeCicca is coming off a period of working with Larry Jon Wilson, the South Georgia singer-songwriter who died last June. DeCicca co-produced Wilson’s final LP, Larry Jon Wilson, which was released on Drag City, then teamed up with Will Oldham for a Black Swans/Bonnie “Prince” Billy split 7″ tribute to the man. Yesterday, DeCicca posted an appreciation of LJW on the music blog, Aquarium Drunkard. So, it really goes without saying that the man who sings an ode to a Georgia gator hole (“Ohoopee River Bottomland“) in the outlaw cult doc Heartworn Highways seems to have been weighing heavily on DeCicca’s mind.
On the title cut from Black Swans’ latest record, Don’t Blame The Stars, which fellow Ohioans Misra Records will release this May, the typically existential songwriter seems to accept the things that he can’t change in life. (2008 also saw the accidental death of Black Swans’ violinist Noel Sayre.) “What once makes us happy, now makes us sad,” DeCicca sings on the song’s opening verse, over a slow-rolling country-folk arrangement. “Don’t blame the stars for what we can fix with our hands” goes the song’s easy chorus.