Norman, Okla.-based singer-songwriter Beau Jennings and his band The Tigers have released their new single “Lord, I’m Reaching” from their upcoming album Heavy Light, due out March 25 via Black Mesa Records. Click here to watch the official music video.
Melding classic blues with gripping heartland rock, “I’m Reaching, Lord” finds Jennings searching for something to hold on to while pushing through life’s uncertainties.
“What else can you do besides keep reaching? I’ve heard it said how satisfying it is to call a spade a spade, no matter what that might mean, and I think there’s a good element of that here,” Jennings says. “But there’s a spirit of defiance here too that I can really credit to The Tigers and the energy they bring. I can zone out and write a song in black and white on my own but one of my favorite things about the band is how they can blow it out and bring it up to full color.”
“I’m Reaching, Lord” is the latest track from Jennings’ upcoming full-length record, which was recorded at Cardinal Song, the studio of The Tigers bassist Michael Trepagnier, following the release of The Thunderbird and its bold acoustic reimagination, Son Of Thunderbird. The band — which is comprised of Jennings, Trepagnier, Chase Kerby, Dustin Ragland and John McCall — mix lush, layered production with the warm, retro sound of 1970s heartland rock. Alongside the upbeat, sunlit vibe of “Sunflower,” Jennings taps into some challenging and reflective moments too. “Colorado” recalls his personal pilgrimage to the state following the loss of his mother, while “Juniper” serves as a personal letter to Jennings’ own daughter.
The record follows up the band’s 2021 EP Feel the Light, which earned praise from an array of outlets including Americana UK, who noted that the release “sound[s] like classic heartland rock like Tom Petty or Jeff Tweedy, with jangly indie rock guitar… Jennings’ low croon sounds similar to Chris Isaak’s and Lyle Lovett’s if they had both decided to rock out a bit more.” His new track “I’m Reaching, Lord” follows the record’s heartfelt lead single “Sunflower,” which was featured on BBC Sounds and earned coverage from DittyTV, Americana Highways and more.
“My wife and I went on a long bike ride one summer morning a while back,” Jennings explained, shedding light on the inspiration behind the tune. “East Norman, Okla. has lots of backroads that are perfect for a long trip with rolling hills and long interrupted views of sunrises and sunsets. I remember at one point as she went ahead of me that it was a good thing, it meant I had farther to go, and I just wanted the ride to last forever. Oklahoma has a lot of problems and yet this was one of the more beautiful moments that make living here just a little bit richer. I wrote this song about as quickly as it took to sing it. I wanted to preserve that ride, that morning, that time with someone I love, and use it as a kind of introduction to the record, kind of a, ‘Welcome, come on in, get comfortable’ kind of statement.”
Released in January, Jennings also joined Rosie Thomas for a cover of Björk’s 90s track “All Is Full of Love,” which earned coverage from Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan among others. Jennings and Thomas are joined by Sufjan Stevens, The Shins, Iron & Wine, Alexi Murdoch, The Head and the Heart’s Charity Theilen, The Lone Bellow’s Kanene Pipkin, William Fitzsimmons, Dawn Landes, Audrey Assad, Leigh Nash, Denison Witmer, Josh Ottum, Kyshona Armstrong, Kevin Brace along with Buster, Alvie and Jeff Shoop for the collaborative track.
With nearly two decades of hard work and creative accomplishments behind him, Jennings has much to be proud of. From his time in Brooklyn during the late 2000s with his band Cheyenne to his own DIY solo work, Jennings has continued to create art that is both inspiring and thought-provoking.
One of his most celebrated projects is The Verdigris, his 2015 music and documentary film project which focused on the life of legendary cowboy, actor, writer, humorist and Oklahoma native Will Rogers. Inspired by the historic 1930s field recordings of Alan Lomax, Jennings went on a journey to locations Rogers had visited throughout his life. He recorded a song at every stop during his journey, trekking from the North Slope of Alaska, where Rogers tragically died in a plane crash, all the way back to the place of his birth in Oklahoma. The project, which featured backing vocals and banjo from Sufjan Stevens on a selection of songs, was nominated for a Heartland Emmy and aired on Public Television channels across the U.S.