Americana Highways brings you this premiere of Elijah Ocean’s song “Born Blue,” the title track from his forthcoming album. Born Blue was produced by Elijah Ocean, engineered by Mark Rains (Tanya Tucker, Jaime Wyatt) at Station House Studio in Los Angeles, CA and mixed by Julian King (Tim McGraw, Clint Black) in Nashville, TN. The album was mastered by Adam Ayan (Luke Bryan, Keith Urban) at Gateway Mastering Studios in Portland, ME photography by Wolfe & Von.
“Born Blue” is Elijah Ocean vocals, guitars; Zack Hall on bass; Curran McDowell on drums; Stephen Musselman electric guitar; Dan Destiny on fiddle; and Jeremy Long (Gethen Jenkins, Victoria Bailey) on pedal steel. Songs by Elijah Ocean have an intrinsic freshness to them, making it seem possible to throw our cares to the wind again. Listen and feel the carefree energy.
One of my favorite years for country music was 1989. You had new artists like Clint Black and Garth Brooks releasing smash debut records that expanded on the sound of guys like George Strait and Randy Travis who had kicked off the Neo-traditional movement earlier in the decade. Country was cool again and the 90s were about to hit. Hard.
With “Born Blue,” I was aiming to pull influences from that late-eighties production with a modern twist and in my own voice. I incorporated Linn kick drum samples to get that punch, and Roland chorus guitar processing for the shimmer (played by Stephen Musselman). I also layered hi-strung acoustic guitars and tambourines for the jangle, and sang my own 3-part harmonies for that full vocal lushness. Throw in some pedal steel (Jeremy Long) and fiddle (Dan Destiny) and that was the sound. It was all mixed by Julian King, who came up engineering and mixing Country records in the 80s and 90s, so he knew exactly what to do. This song is the title track and the most introspective on the record, talking about my feelings and stuff. I picture it as a “drivin’ and thinkin'” song. — Elijah Ocean