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As with my 2020 "pandemic project," Out of and Into, New Now is made up of a lot of overdubbed Joel (on electric and acoustic guitars, bass, percussion and voice), creating wide-ranging energies, styles, moods, sonic landscapes, and textures. But to mix things up this time, I brought in some more collaborators: friends on drums, French horn and trap drum programming sent me parts and I lovingly threw them into the cauldron. My daughter even sings a bit on one track. I hope you enjoy New Now.

Joel Newton: compositions, guitar, bass, percussion, voice

Bill Cochran: acoustic and FX'd French horn on tracks 5 and 6

Ethan Cohen: drums on track 6

Charlie Ginsberg: trap drum programming on track 6

Maks Newton: voice on track 5

Out of and Into is Joel Newton's (mostly) solo pandemic project, recorded at his home studio during the Summer of 2020. It is a collection of emotionally-searching songs Joel wrote to convey coming Out of something (not great) and Into something else (hopefully much better).

All tracks (except "Crying and Laughing" and "Homeward," both re-releases from the earlier JNS album, Crying and Laughing) were recorded straight into Joel's iPhone 8s through its (amazingly high-quality) built-in microphone and edited on the iPhone app, Multitrack DAW. It was mastered by Bill Cochran. Bill also played French Horn on the track, "Tides of Truro," for which he wrote the end-coda, using his unique live-looping method (check out his solo album, Granulated Cor). Eric Halvorson (drums) and Ben Stivers (keyboards) appear on "Homeward," which features group improvisation. Joel plays all other instruments (acoustic and electric guitars, bass, percussion, voice, ukulele, and cello).

"... a rollicking Dixie-jam-grass fusion blend ... carried by a relentless sense of playfulness and fun.”

--Geno Thackara's Best 2017 Releases, All About Jazz

Trail Magic, a jazz-leaning “jam band” is the creation of violinist Christian Howes and guitarist Joel Newton. The term, popular among Appalachian Trail hikers, means an unexpected act of kindness, something thoughtful or useful left behind by an anonymous fellow traveler.

Howes is an award-winning trail-blazer, having transitioned from classical roots to make huge violin inroads into blues, gospel, rock (he’s often called the “Hendrix of the violin”), and jazz (#1 Rising Star Violinist in the Downbeat Critics Poll). He tours the globe with his own and others’ groups and is widely considered one of the top improvising violinists. He has collaborated with Spyro Gyra, Robben Ford, Frank Vignola, Dafnis Prieto, and many others, and toured for 4 years in Bill Evans’ “Soulgrass” band. Howes has a long, varied discography (see

Howes and Newton performed in each other’s groups for years before teaming up to tour and record together. Their debut album, Trail Magic, features original compositions of the two artists. It was recorded immediately following a 3-week Midwest tour with a quartet completed by Walter Fischbacher on keyboards and Aviv Cohen on drums. The music straddles jazz and funk, with driving jams and wide-ranging moods. 

Prior to his latest album, "Out of and Into," Joel recorded two CD's with the Joel Newton Situation ("ONE" in 2000 and "Crying and Laughing" in 2006). Both releases were the culmination of years of steady performing with the respective lineups and exemplify Joel's dedication to the development of a band sound as a vehicle for composition and distinctive group improvisation. 

Crying and Laughing, Joel Newton Situation

Joel Newton: guitar, compositions

Toshi Someya: bass

Ben Stivers: keyboards

Eric Halvorson: drums

ONE, Joel Newton Situation

Joel Newton: guitar

Lars Aakesson: guitar

Toshi Someya: bass

Chris Michael: drums

Christian Howes: violin (special guest on tracks 4, 5 and 8)

All compositions by Joel except Tech 2 and Last One, by Lars.

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