For the past few months, veteran rocker and Foo Fighters six-stringer Chris Shiflett has been sharing new tastes of his signature honky-tonk-meets-rock-and-roll sound. “Dead And Gone” found the Southern Californian trading licks with Nashville pickers like Tom Bukovac and Charlie Worsham and “Black Top White Lines” put a rocking spin on the classic “murder ballad” format. All of that bridge-building between Music City and his native California will come to fruition on October 20th with the release of Lost at Sea—Shiflett’s new Jaren Johnston-produced album on Blue Élan Records.
Lost at Sea finds Shiflett blurring the lines between his last two albums: West Coast Town’s (2017) honky-tonk homage and Hard Lessons’ (2019) overdriven crunch. Shiflett recorded the majority of the new album in Nashville, working with his aforementioned producer and collaborator Jaren Johnston—frontman of the Cadillac Three, as well as the songwriter behind nearly a dozen Number 1 country hits—and a small cast of Americana all-stars. Among them were fellow guitar slingers Worsham, Bukovac, and Nathan Keeterle, all three of whom laced the record with fiery fretwork. He also teamed up with a number of co-writers, partnering with Kendell Marvel, Cody Jinks, and others to fill Lost at Sea with storylines that pack as hefty a punch as the music itself.
“We wrote a lot of these songs during the lockdown,” recalls Shiflett, who spent much of the pandemic at home in Southern California. “Then I began making trips to Nashville to work with Jaren. He and I have a lot of overlap, in terms of the music we like. We made a guitar-centric record that encapsulates everything I've been listening to over the years, from the most country songs I've ever recorded to punk rock and even songs that sound like a California version of The Clash.”
“Damage Control” is the track he’s referencing, and it happens to be the next single from Lost at Sea. Straying further from the country influence than most of the album, “Damage Control” is the only “old” tune that Johnston and Shiflett included on Lost at Sea. “All the other tunes were written in the months leading up to recording, but when Jaren and I were sorting out which songs to do he mentioned something about The Clash and I remembered this old one I’d demoed about 15 years prior,” remembers Shiflett. With its layers of reverb, pulsing percussion, and Echoplex tape delay, “Damage Control” went through a number of versions before reaching its final form in the studio with Johnston. “I love that the musical inspiration on this one was late-stage Clash but we wound up layering it with banjos and what-not. Definitely takes it somewhere else. Ska-mericana?” Shiflett laughs. “There’s nothing better than when influences converge taking you places you never expected.”
Fans can hear “Damage Control” now at this link, check out previously-released singles “Dead And Gone” and “Black Top White Lines” at their respective links, and pre-order or pre-save Lost at Sea ahead of its October 20th release right here. A full list of Shiflett’s upcoming solo shows can be found below or at chrisshiflettmusic.com/shows.
In addition to the announcement of Lost at Sea, Shred With Shifty, a new vodcast focused on guitar solos from Volume.com, Double Elvis, and Premier Guitar, was announced last month. Follow along as Shiflett engages with the biggest names in the guitar world, delving into their most iconic solos and the art of playing guitar with exclusive video on Volume.com. For example, Alex Lifeson talks to Shiflett about how the “Limelight” solo was pieced together in the studio, while Rivers Cuomo discusses why his go-to “guitar store” lick is a classic from super shredder Yngwie Malmsteen. Find out how Richie Sambora put together the “Wanted Dead or Alive” solo and understand the nuances of the chords to Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out” from the man himself, Nile Rodgers. For more information, and to listen or watch, please visit Volume.com/shifty.
Lost at Sea Tracklist:
Dead And Gone
Black Top White Lines
Weigh You Down
Burn The House Down
Where’d Everybody Go?
I Don’t Trust My Memories Anymore
Carrie Midnight Texas Queen
Catch Chris Shiflett On Tour:
Aug. 17 - Novato, CA - Hopmonk Tavern
Aug. 18 - Half Moon Bay, CA - Old Princeton Landing
Aug. 19 - Santa Cruz, CA - Moe’s Alley
Aug. 24 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up
Aug. 25 - Venice, CA - Venice West
Aug. 26 - Bakersfield, CA - Temblor Brewing Co.
Sept. 14 - Chicago, IL - Fitzgerald’s
For all tour dates and ticket information, please visit chrisshiflettmusic.com/shows.