Amber Cross has quite the rolodex. For her forthcoming album Savage on the Downhill, the northern California (by way of Maine) roots songwriter called upon several Americana luminaries to lend their hands to an already impressive collection of folk songs that recall storytellers like Woody Guthrie and Lucinda Williams. Appropriately, frequent Williams collaborator Gurf Morlix lends his songwriting duties, while living bluegrass legend Tim O’Brien contributes fiddle.
Canadian musician Ray Bonneville, whom Cross first met through attending the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, produced the album, his blues sensibilities and friendship with Morlix making him the perfect collaborator for the project.
“Ray Bonneville has a gritty blues sound to his work and as a producer he chose songs from my catalog in which he could mine that same vein,” Cross says. “Most songs he selected have a heavier, darker subject matter, which made Gurf Morlix an obvious choice. Ray and Gurf have colaborated on numerous projects together through many years of friendship. Having previously met Gurf I had a feel for his sound and respected his work before we were in the studio. The fact that Tim O’Brien fiddles on this album means a lot to me. I’ve been a fan of Tim’s since I first started playing music. I must have listened to his fiddling on ‘Storms of Scarcity’ a hundred times when he sent it over. I couldn’t be happier with the flavor he added.”
Savage on the Downhill is out July 21. Stream the album in its entirety below.