Down in the hollers of Lee County, Alabama, cosmic country fixture B.B. Palmer is readying the release of his most transcendent work to date, Krishna Country Gold arriving August 19th, 2022. The forthcoming collection follows Palmer’s 2019 full length debut, Lee County’s Finest, as well as the 2021 release of the EP’s two feature tracks, “Simulation Theory” and “Many Worlds Theory,” which have garnered praise from PopMatters, Glide Magazine, Americana UK, and more. The brief listen is a brilliant sonic patchwork of spiritual discernment, weaving the rich texture of far eastern traditions with a downhome blend of country grit and all American storytelling.
Recorded entirely in central Alabama with an all-local ensemble, the five track collection embodies the renewed spiritual identity of Bernard “BB” Palmer Breitung (the group’s namesake), whose strict Catholic upbringing shaped much of his philosophical perspective until a divine encounter with the Bhagavad Gita struck him with a revelation he didn’t know he needed.
“I can’t remember where I found it, if someone gave it to me, or if it just materialized — but I’m thinking it’s the latter, because I just can’t put a finger on it,” Palmer recalls.
Palmer’s resonance with the text quickly became a guidepost for his day-to-day existence, further galvanized by his newfound appreciation for the raga canon of classical Indian music. Another lightning bolt moment came when he noticed the similarities between instruments like the sitar and the twangy flavor of American steel guitar and fiddle. The ensuing sonic expedition would eventually empower the group to explore their musicality in a vast new landscape.
Clocking in at just under 20 minutes, Krishna Country Gold covers tremendous ground, carefully annotating the absurdities of the human condition with each bite-sized chapter. The opening ballad, “The Great Cosmic Motion Picture Show,” introduces themes of existential curiosity and wayfinding through a grand, cinematic display. Its playful nods to the spaghetti western films of the 1960s and dark undertones reminiscent of Johnny Cash and Chris Isaak further showcase Palmer’s diverse influences and creativity. Another standout, “God Consciousness” glides seamlessly from psychedelic waltz to the bouncy, pop-forward grooves of longtime bandmate and telecaster master Josh “Bucky” McKenzie, before settling into a dizzying concoction of electric guitar, funky bass lines and celestial sitar whispers.
Mid-listen, the spirited “Why Do You” (featuring the wistful harmonies and duet lines of Birmingham powerhouse Taylor Hunnicutt) gently bridges the climactic back-to-back manifestos “Simulation Theory” and “Many Worlds Theory.” Brimming with stoic commentary, capricious one-liners and sewn together by Palmer’s signature barroom tenor, the closing passages find equilibrium in their honest-to-goodness delivery.
On Krishna Country Gold, Palmer solidifies himself as a master of wit and whimsy. Waxing poetic on everything from chemtrails, to shape shifting lizard people, and other nonsensical conspiracies, he seasons the project with playful accouterments that lighten the load without compromising sincerity. At its core, the record underwrites the journey of a vagabond soul yearning for home. It’s an earnest exploration of global soundscapes and diverse perspectives; a testament to the power of keeping an open mind. Remarkably accessible and studded with provocative insight, Krishna Country Gold is a living relic of personal conviction that warps and bends with its protagonist’s ever-unfolding discoveries.
Krishna Country Gold will be released to all digital streaming platforms on Friday, August 19th, 2022. The singles “Simulation Theory” and “Many Worlds Theory” are available now. For more information, and to stay up-to-date on all things B.B. Palmer, visit bbpalmermusic.com.