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Ruston Kelly Details Debut Album ‘Dying Star,’ Shares New Song ‘Jericho’

Rounder Records debut includes musical contributions from Kacey Musgraves, Joy Williams and Natalie Hemby

Last time we heard from Ruston Kelly in April’s foul-mouthed “Asshole,” the Nashville alt-folkie was getting himself thrown in jail. On his aching new song “Jericho,” the first to be premiered from his debut LP Dying Star, the walls he’s surrounded by are metaphorical.

“Jericho” finds Kelly channeling the dark minimalism of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska with a stark guitar-and-a-harmonica aesthetic. He uses the biblical city’s ancient wall as a representation of his own isolation, but it’s cut through with the harmonies of Natalie Hemby and ex-Civil Wars member Joy Williams, with whom Kelly co-wrote the tune. Together, they lift the song up, singing on the chorus, “I raised Jericho around me, but these walls are built to scale.”

Hemby and Williams are but two of the many collaborators that appear on Dying Star, which Kelly recorded with producer and collaborator Jarrad K at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas. Kacey Musgraves, who’s married to Kelly, also lends her voice to the project, while Kelly’s father Tim contributes atmospheric pedal steel to “Jericho.”

With Dying Star out September 7th on Rounder Records, Kelly will also embark on his first headlining tour in the fall, with support from Katie Pruitt. His tour will open with a debut appearance at Austin City Limits Festival in Austin, Texas on October 13th.

The track list for Ruston Kelly’s Dying Star:

1. “Cover My Tracks” (Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K)
2. “Mockingbird” (Ruston Kelly)
3. “Son of a Highway Daughter” (Ruston Kelly)
4. “Paratrooper’s Battle Cry” (Ruston Kelly)
5. “Faceplant” (Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Brendan Benson)
6. “Blackout” (Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Joy Williams)
7. “Big Brown Bus” (Ruston Kelly)
8. “Mercury” (Ruston Kelly)
9. “Anchors” (Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K)
10. “Just for the Record” (Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Lucie Silvas)
11. “Trying to Let Her” (Ruston Kelly, Joe Leathers, Kyle Jacobs)
12. “Jericho” (Ruston Kelly, Joy Williams, Natalie Hemby)
13. “Dying Star” (Ruston Kelly)
14. “Brightly Burst Into the Air” (Ruston Kelly)

Here are Kelly’s fall tour dates:

October 13 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Music Festival
October 23 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
October 25 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
October 26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
October 27 – Vienna, VA @ Jammin Java
October 28 – Richmond, VA @ The Camel
October 30 – Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl
November 2 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
November 3 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
November 7 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Café
November 8 – San Francisco, CA @ Hotel Utah Saloon
November 10 – Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
November 11 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
November 14 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall

In This Article: Ruston Kelly

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