The story behind Truth & Salvage Co.’s “Atoms Form” is the not-uncommon tale of a “lost album.” A band (in this case, working with an ace producer) follows its artist vision and records an album that does not suit what the label has in mind. The label sends them back to the drawing board, and the do-over gets released while the first record collects dust on the shelf.
To rewind: Truth & Salvage Co. had quickly established themselves as the cream of the roots-rock crop by the time Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes signed them to his label, produced their 2010 debut album and took them on the road as openers for the Crowes. In 2012, Truth & Salvage Co. convened with producer Rob Schnapf to make their sophomore album, but the record was rejected. “They wanted us to make the Black Crowes meets the Band meets the Lumineers record,” singer-guitarist Tim Jones says, “which sounds awesome. But, we weren’t there.” Instead, they made the self-produced “Pick Me Up,” released in 2013.
The hard-touring bunch went their separate ways in 2015, but as “Atoms Form” finally gets released (Oct. 7 via Blackbird Record Label) they’ll reunite. That band — Jones, Scott Kinnebrew (vocals, lead guitar), Bill “Smitty” Smith (vocals, drums), Walker Young (vocals, piano), Dean Moore (bass) and Adam Grace (vocals, keyboards) — will do a couple shows in New Orleans.
Three singles from “Atoms Form” have been released so far, and they’re just about where we expected to find Truth & Salvage Co. a decade ago when the album was made: country meets the cosmos on a wide-open two-lane road, an AM radio spilling its guts over the hum of the engine. It’s a long way from the jam sessions at Crane’s Hollywood Tavern where the band got its start, but not.
||| Stream: “24 Hours,” “Charm City” and “Summertime”