Acclaimed musician and scholar Jake Blount’s highly-anticipated new album, The New Faith, is out today on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings as part of their African American Legacy series. Stream/purchase HERE.

Critical acclaim for The New Faith:

“revelatory…[Blount] sings and speaks from the eye of the musical storm he’s cultivated with a keen and collected alertness that's riveting.”—NPR Music

“gorgeous”—Rolling Stone

The New Faith deepens the soul of Black folk…finds him expanding the depth and scope of the meaning of ‘Afrofuturism’ in the modern era”—The Tennessean

“The vocals swoop gloriously…the words cast a deepening chill.”—The Financial Times

“[Blount] has cut a sleek path through the realm of Americana…arresting”—The Guardian

“showcases Blount’s knack for knowing the bones of American music like the back of his hand”—American Songwriter

“a record steeped in the songs of the past, but employing modern techniques and approaches to speak to and fit into the current cultural moment”—No Depression

“helping write back in the contributions of Black artists that have been erased from the string-band tradition”—Nashville Scene

A dystopian Afrofuturistic concept album, the record features ten reimagined and reinterpreted traditional Black spirituals across twelve tracks in addition to two original spoken word pieces. Conceived, written and recorded during the darkest months of lockdowns and just after the unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd, the album aims to envision what Black religious music would sound like in a not-so-distant future world devastated by climate change.

The release adds to an already notable year for Blount, who made his first AmericanaFest appearance last week as a featured panelist in addition to multiple performances. Blount also recently wrote an Op-Ed for Rolling Stone titled, “Is It Too Late to Make the Music Industry Sustainable?” where he discusses how both artists and fans can help combat the climate crisis. Read the piece here.

In celebration of the release, Blount will tour through the end of the year with upcoming headline shows at Seattle’s Tractor Tavern, Portland’s Show Bar at Revolution Hall, Los Angeles’ Hotel Café, Brooklyn’s Jalopy Theater, Nashville’s The Analog at the Hutton Hotel, Atlanta’s Eddie Attic, Philadelphia’s World Café Live, Washington DC’s Pearl Street Warehouse, Boston’s Club Passim and New Orleans’s Gasa Gasa among many others. See below for complete itinerary.

Produced by Blount along with Brian Slattery, the album was recorded mainly in Blount’s own bedroom in Providence, RI. In addition to Blount on vocals, fiddle, banjo, bass, percussion and strings and Slattery on percussion, guitar and strings, the album features guest appearances by Demeanor, D’orjay The Singing Shaman, Samuel James, Kaïa Kater, Lizzie No, Mali Obomsawin, Brandi Pace, Rissi Palmer and Lillian Werbin.

Based in Providence, RI, 27-year-old Blount is an award-winning banjoist, fiddler, singer and scholar specializing in the folk traditions of Black and indigenous Americans. In 2020, his debut solo album, Spider Tales, launched at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart and received overwhelming critical praise landing on year-end best of lists at the The New Yorker, NPR Music and more. In addition to his solo work, he is half of the internationally touring duo Tui, a recipient of 2020 the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, a two-time winner of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival (better known as Clifftop) and a founding member of Bluegrass Pride. Blount has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Newport Folk Festival and numerous other venues across and beyond the U.S. He has presented his scholarly work at museums and universities including the Smithsonian Institution, Berklee College of Music and Yale University. His writing has appeared in Paste Magazine, No Depression, and NPR Music.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States. The label's mission is to document music, spoken word, instruction and sounds from around the world, continuing the legacy of Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records in 1948. The Smithsonian acquired Folkways from the Asch estate in 1987 and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has continued the Folkways tradition by supporting the work of traditional artists and expressing a commitment to cultural diversity, education and increased understanding among peoples through the production, documentation, preservation and dissemination of sound.

For more information, please contact Asha Goodman, Catherine Snead 615.320.7753 or Carla Sacks 212.741.1000 at Sacks & Co.


The Psalms of the Sentinel
1. Take Me to the Water / Prayer
2. The Downward Road
3. Didn’t It Rain
4. Tangle Eye Blues

The Psalms of the Gravedigger
5. Parable
6. Death Have Mercy
7. City Called Heaven
8. They Are Waiting for Me

The Psalms of the Teacher
9. Psalms
10. Just as Well to Get Ready, You Got to Die
11. Give Up the World
12. Once There Was No Sun

September 23 /// Madison, WI /// The North Street Cabaret
September 24 /// Winona, MN /// Boats and Bluegrass
September 25 /// Minneapolis, MN /// First Avenue & 7th St Entry
September 28 /// Wethersfield, CT /// Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum
October 4 /// Baltimore, MD /// Well of Souls Book Launch
October 8 /// Burlington, VT /// Black Opry Revue
October 9 /// Portland, ME /// Black Opry Revue
October 14 /// Philadelphia, PA /// World Cafe Live
October 15 /// Washington, DC /// Pearl Street Warehouse
October 16 /// Charlottesville, VA /// The Front Porch
October 18 /// Brooklyn, NY /// Jalopy Theater
October 19 /// Boston, MA /// Club Passim
October 20 /// Sheffield, MA /// Dewey Hall
October 21 /// Providence, RI /// Columbus Theatre
October 22 /// Saratoga Springs, NY /// Caffe Lena
October 23 /// Portland, ME /// One Longfellow Square
November 3 /// Westford, MA /// Fiddle Hell 2022
November 8 /// Seattle, WA /// Tractor Tavern
November 9 /// Portland, OR /// Show Bar at Revolution Hall
November 10 /// Sisters, OR /// The Belfry
November 11 /// Prosser, WA /// Brewminatti
November 12 /// Eugene, OR /// Tsunami Books
November 13 /// Ashland, OR /// Cedarwood Barn
November 15 /// Berkeley, CA /// Freight & Salvage
November 17 /// Santa Cruz, CA /// Kuumbwa Jazz Center
November 18 /// San Luis Obispo, CA /// Castoro Cellars
November 19 /// Los Angeles, CA /// Hotel Café
November 20 /// Santa Paula, CA /// Deep End
Sessions (House Concert)
December 9 /// Baltimore, MD /// Creative Alliance
December 10 /// Floyd, VA /// Floyd Country Store
December 12 /// Nashville, TN /// The Analog at the Hutton Hotel
December 13 /// Chattanooga, TN /// Barking Legs Theater
December 14 /// Atlanta, GA /// Eddie’s Attic
December 15 /// Jacksonville Beach, FL /// Blue Jay Listening Room
December 16 /// Ybor City, FL /// The Attic
December 17 /// Gainesville, FL /// Heartwood Soundstage
December 18 /// New Orleans, LA /// Gasa Gasa
January 28 /// Florence, OR /// Florence Arts Winter Music Festival