John Leventhal – Rumble Strip


John Leventhal - Rumble Strip

John Leventhal – Rumble Strip
Format: CD
Label: Rumble Strip – Thirty Tigers
Release: 2024

Release: January 26, 2024

Of the many hats John Leventhal has worn during his 45-year journey as musician—producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and recording engineer—”solo artist” has never been among them. That all changes with ‘Rumble Strip’ (January 26), the six-time Grammy-winner’s debut album that showcases some of the most adventurous work of his career.

“I’ve always had a catalog of ideas that have never found a home,” Leventhal says. “In the back of my mind, I thought that one of these days I should try to harvest some of those ideas and confront the personal gauntlet of making a solo record.”

Born in New York City, Leventhal began his career in the late 1970’s playing guitar in dozens of NYC area bands including those led by Billy Vera, Steve Forbert and Levon Helm. His impulse to look for unexpected moments of beauty has served as a compass and survival tactic throughout his remarkable career. He’s produced albums for Rosanne Cash, Marc Cohn, Sarah Jarosz, Jim Lauderdale, William Bell, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Joan Osborne and many others. As a guitar player he has recorded and performed with Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, Willie Nelson, The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ry Cooder, Elvis Costello, Donald Fagen and recently, The National (Leventhal co-produced the song “Crumble” from Laugh Track).

Leventhal has been a Grammy winner in five consecutive decades, including as a co-writer and producer on Shawn Colvin’s 1998’s Song of the Year “Sunny Came Home,” Cash’s moody The River and the Thread, and Stax legend William Bell’s sublime 2016 album This Is Where I Live. Presently, he’s collaborating with Cash on a musical version of Norma Rae. His unique approach hasn’t always aligned Leventhal with whatever is reaping the biggest commercial rewards, but he figures that’s probably the only way he could’ve done it. We’re all the luckier for it.