The Arthur King collective and Dangerbird Records are very happy to announce our latest release, Arthur King Presents Danny Frankel, Victoria Williams, Doug Wieselman: Roofrack For RalphRoofrack For Ralph finds three expert musicians and long-time friends, each with their own distinctly varied and impressive catalogs, joining together to push boundaries and forge a musical kinship that defies genre and tradition. 

Victoria Williams is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a strikingly expressive approach to storytelling. Her unique vocal delivery and songwriting style have led to a slew of critically acclaimed solo albums as well as collaborations with Lou Reed, Vic Chesnutt, and many others. Roofrack For Ralph contains some of the first new original music contributions by Williams in over a decade. Drummer and percussionist Danny Frankel’s prestigious career stretches back to the late 70s with the criminally under-appreciated D.C. band Urban Verbs. After Urban Verbs, Frankel went on to play with a wide array of artists including Lou Reed, John Cale, Laurie Anderson, Bo Diddley, Don Cherry,  Bebel Gilberto, and so many more that can’t possibly be listed here. Doug Wieselman is a reedist, guitarist, and composer with a similarly lengthy history of eclectic work. In addition to several lauded solo albums, his previous collaborators include Wayne Horvitz, Bill Frisell, John Zorn, Yoko Ono, Marc Ribot, Antony and the Johnsons, Martha Wainwright, Tricky, Yo La Tengo, Nels Cline, and many others.

The trio of musicians convened in Frankel’s Joshua Tree home in December of 2017 to record Roofrack. Largely improvised, the calm interplay of guzheng, guitar, reeds, and percussion fuses into a strange yet stirring impression of Americana. This instrumentation provides a welcoming bed of sound for Williams’ vocals, which range from the soft melodic murmurs of “Be Who U R” to the deep guttural proclamations of “Nobody Home.”  Throughout the album the trio touches on elements of folk, ambient, avant-garde jazz, and at times even no wave without residing in any one area long enough to make their music categorizable.

The recording of this album took place shortly after the passing of the trio’s close friend Ralph Carney. This tragic event deeply affected the three musicians and imbues these songs with a somber and reflective quality. The title of the album as well as some of Williams’ lyrics contained within serve as a tribute to their friendship and memories of Ralph.

We couldn’t be prouder to bring you this release. It is out today and available now!