Following a Glide Magazine premiere, Cory Branan's "When In Rome, When In Memphis" is out now
The esteemed Memphis-based, singer songwriter Cory Branan releases his new single, the jangly guitar and drum driven “When in Rome, When in Memphis,” today, following its premiere with Glide Magazine. The song, featuring harmonies from guests Jason Isbell and Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem), is culled from his forthcoming album, When I Go I Ghost (his sixth studio set) coming out October 14, 2022. On the eve of his new album release, Branan will launch a five-week U.S. tour in Kentucky that then routes to the northeast and winds its way back to his Memphis home base.
“When In Rome, When in Memphis” was written far from where Memphis meets Mississippi, where the rural sensibility meets the urban aesthetic, where Cory was raised. But he felt the pull, and also the aura of a great American songwriter. “I wrote ‘When In Rome’ while driving through Jersey. It came out of one drive. Sometimes the songs are little pieces that linger around and I’ll Frankenstein them together, but a lot of these came out like deer, already standing up.” He laughs. “And I did pick loaded cities to reference. You can’t be more loaded than Memphis and Asbury Park. It reminded me of Guy Clark equating the Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s David and Doc Watson.” For the sound, “It was so hard to stay away from Springsteen’s E Street Band sound when we were doing that song. But Eric Slick, the drummer, made it work. He’s in Dr. Dog. I wanted a drummer who didn’t come from roots music. Eric was versatile and fantastic. He attacked this one like Keith Moon from the Who.”
Branan spent the pandemic forced time-off working on a new album and signing a record deal with our label. When I Go I Ghost was produced by Grammy-Award winning engineer, Jeremy Ferguson.
The core band is drummer Eric Slick (Dr. Dog), bassist Robbie Crowell (Deer Tick, Midland), who also played on Cory’s previous album Adios; Jarrad K, who produced Ruston Kelly and can play anything, and here is on various keys and synthesizer; and the in-demand Anthony da Costa on guitars and vocal harmonies. Guests on the album include Jason Isbell who joins in on background vocals and/or guitar on five of the albums eleven songs, Garrison Starr who duets with Branan on “Waterfront,” and Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem who sings on two, including in a round with Jason and Cory on “When In Rome, When In Memphis.”
Over the last two decades, Branan has released five albums to much critical acclaim from NPR, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone and others, who called him “A country boy with a punk-rock heart.” He has toured extensively, appearing on stages from Letterman and the Ryman to your town’s shittiest punk bar. Branan’s songs have been covered by such artists as Frank Turner and Dashboard Confessional. He has also collaborated with the likes of Jason Isbell, Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Amanda Shires, and Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) who have been included as featured guests on previous records.