Singer-songwriter MARKUS RILL and Bavarian multi-instrumentalist Robert Hasleder have known each other for 15 years. However, with both of them being much-in-demand live performers and prolific artists, chances to play music together were few and far between. During the 2020 pandemic, however, they had nothing but time. Rill sat down in Hasleder’s basement studio to record some new and some previously unrecorded originals and a couple of cover versions. Hasleder embellished these live tracks with delicate guitar parts, mandolin, Weissenborn, slide, banjo, bass, accordion, percussion and more.
New Crop is a varied acoustic album, at times harking back to Jim Croce and Maury Muehleisen’s musical interplay, at other times reminiscent of Steve Earle’s Train A-Comin‘ or John Hiatt’s Crossing Muddy Waters. “I’d always planned to make an all-acoustic album one day. The Price Of Sin and Late Night Drive were getting close. I think New Crop qualifies“, Rill says with a grin. The dark cover version of Bob Dylan’s “Man In The Long Black Coat“, one of the album’s undisputed highlights, is the only song featuring an electric lapsteel guitar. Everywhere else acoustic instruments create a warm, lush sound.
New Crop offers all of Rill’s strengths – wide-ranging Americana, rock’n’roll, country, folk and blues tunes with remarkably strong lyrics – in a fresh, inspired, acoustic soundscape handcrafted and tailor-made by string-wizard Robert Hasleder. If you are in the mood to hear two master musicians at work, New Crop is exactly what you need.