For the first time ever, J.B. is booking a tour without the Wayward Drifters or any other band. Dubbed the "Lone Wolf" tour, Beverley is taking to the road for the spring and summer of 2016.
"It's just something I've wanted to do for a long time. It kind of becomes limitless and unpredictable." he told me from his North Carolina studio.
"The routes have been plotted and the shows are being locked in. I'm very happy to see it begin to take shape. This has been a long time coming!"
Certain dates in the south will feature the Wayward Drifters, and the hub of shows will feature Hunter Grigg as an opening act. The tour kicks off in May.
J.B. has been busy writing both new Wayward Drifters material, as well as a follow-up to his acclaimed solo release Stripped To The Root.
"The plan is to lay down some tracks and see what comes of it."
Unsure whether it will be billed another J.B. Beverley solo release, or become the beginning of a new band, J.B. is cautiously optimistic.
"It's really hard to say right now. It's going to depend on how it takes shape. I mean, it'll be my songs either way, but as for what I call it or who else might get involved, it's pretty difficult to say right now. I just don't know yet. Anyone who saw what I did with Rory Kelly and his band backing me up last year got the closest thing to a sneak peek that anyone could get."
When asked if the new music will be coming out on Rusty Knuckles Music, J.B. gave me some bittersweet news.
"No, I'm on my own these days. For the first time ever, I'm in control of one-hundred percent of my music and namesake. Rusty Knuckles are some great folks, and they put out some great things. And not limited to music, either! They do some damn fine leatherwork, and all kinds of things beyond just releasing albums. It was just time for me to do for me, and raise the stakes. I'm setting up shop to be printing my own merchandise here soon, and I'll be rereleasing the Wayward Drifters CD's and Stripped To The Root on CD again in the near future too."
On September 22, J.B. rereleased Stripped To The Root, and decided to add four bonus songs to the mix. Two are original outtakes from the initial recording; the banjo-driven ballad "Tell It To My Grave", and an acoustic piedmont blues number called "My Other Side". The other two songs are covers; the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Sin City", and the Drive-By Truckers' "A Ghost To Most".
"And with A Ghost To Most, well that song had become my anthem through the process of that album. It was my first record without the Wayward Drifters, it wasn't a country record per-se, and I had been forsaken by some people that I really thought loved me. I was on edge the whole time and felt like a damn ghost. I felt like I was invisible, and like I was drowning. Hell, I must have played that song ten-thousand times throughout that period. Now, me covering it was a happy accident though! I had cut it through my equipment at home as part of a podcast where each artist paid respects to other songwriters that they appreciate. I've always been a huge Drive-By Truckers fan, and I wanted to pay my respects to (Mike) Cooley and thank him for making an impact on my life through music."
"We cut a lot of songs for Stripped. When it was said and done, I had so many leftover songs, man! Both originals, and covers. I chose two songs that really helped me get through that time in my life. I had been getting back into Gram (Parsons) something deep while we were on the home stretch with that record, so that song was a natural fit."
"I have the next Wayward Drifters record written. It's just a matter of getting everyone together and making it happen. In the meantime, I'm going to be working on some new songs. I've been writing a lot on the Telecaster lately, and kind of have this country-rock hybrid thing happening."
"I get to do what I want to do, and what the fans want me to do every night. That will make each show different and unique. I won't have to worry about 'well, does the band know this one' or anything like that. I think it's going to be a lot of fun, and it will be a real test for me too. It's been a long time since I had to hold a room all night with just my guitar!" The spring leg of the tour will encompass the south and midwest, and the summer portion will stretch to the west coast and back.