Brother JT, aka the enigmatic John Terlesky, has returned with a mind-palace of an album entitled Tornado Juice. To be released March of 2018 on Thrill Jockey, TJ was recorded at Magic Door, a new studio in Montclair NJ, by Ray Ketchem, who produced the Original Sins' Bethlehem album in 1996. This was a departure for the Brother, who hadn't darkened the door of a real studio since 2007's Jelly Roll Gospel, preferring the freedom of recording at his band's practice space and overdubbing at home. "When I heard Ray was opening a new studio I had to try it out," he recounted in a recent interview. "Aside from his sick mic collection there's a comfort level with Ray I'm not sure I could find elsewhere. He knows music and he knows me, and I think that comes through in the tracks."
True to form, however, after recording the main band parts JT took the files home and overdubbed vocals and guitar leads to his heart's content onto his refurbished Dell laptop. "I wouldn't want to put anyone through that kind of obsessiveness, much less a friend. And I wanted to put my little stamp of grime on it."
A prolific writer, often inspired by the titular Tornado Juice (that's LSD, kids), JT records on average 40 songs a year before narrowing the selection for an album. Often, it is the lyrics that come first, fast and furious - excerpts from one of JT's many notebooks can be seen on the LP inner sleeve. "It could just be my subconscious going off, but these sessions really feel like a form of spirit channeling. I hear voices, all kinds of voices, and basically take down what they say. It might seem odd, but I feel like I'm giving these beings some kind of outlet. It's like having a collaborator, say, Bernie Taupin, only from another dimension and much scarier."
From the raw material of those pages the artist then honed the more decipherable passages into song lyrics, drawing musically from a bottomless well of influences: gutbucket blues to .......