JD McPherson Premieres New Song, "Crying's Just a Thing You Do"

(Image credit: Alysse Gafkjen)

JD McPherson has premiered a new song, “Crying’s Just a Thing You Do,” and you can check it out below. The track is from his upcoming album, Undivided Heart & Soul, which will be released October 6 via New West Records.

Rolling Stone called the tune—which features some killer baritone guitar, by the way—a “Jerry Lee Lewis-in-the-key-of T. Rex rocker.”

Whether or not you agree with that assessment, you have to appreciate its fresh, stripped-down approach and magnetic beat—not to mention its references to Edgar Allan Poe and Rosetti (although we're not sure if he means Dante Gabriel or Christina).

"I’m a huge fan of guitar," McPherson—a former middle-school art teacher—told Guitar World last week. "I love guitar music, but I tend to gravitate more toward things that fall on the side of musical, stylish or sparse. I love Bo Diddley; there’s nobody cooler than that. That style of guitar playing isn’t about big arpeggio sweeps and things. I love Chuck Berry’s playing. Is he out of tune sometimes? Yes. Is he bending too far sometimes? Yes. It’s awesome. I love it. It sounds like fun. It sounds like teenager music."

Prior to writing and recording the new album, McPherson moved his family from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, to the burgeoning artist community of East Nashville, Tennessee. His decision was based on opportunity, but he notes the influence the city has had on his new music.

“Up to this point, I thought I knew what I was doing with songwriting, that I don’t do this or that,” McPherson said. After collaborating with multiple artists in the scene, he began to experiment, exploring personal themes and injecting more of himself into his work (including a co-write on the album with his wife, Mandy).

Opening up his process was no easy task.

"I gotta tell ya, fear can be a real impediment to the creative process," McPherson told Guitar World. "It also can be an incredible aid to the creative process, because making this record was, well, these songs were just falling out, and I was having a really hard time wrestling with the fact that some people might be bummed out that it didn’t feel like the first record. There was a point where I literally couldn’t worry anymore. It was like, these are the songs I’m writing, this is what we’re doing. We did it, and so far so good. We’ve gotten a very, very positive response to it."

The album features collaborations with Parker Millsap, Butch Walker (who co-wrote “Crying’s Just a Thing You Do”) and Aaron Lee Tasjan. In addition to his longtime band members—Doug Corcoran on guitar, Raynier Jacob Jacildo on keys, Jimmy Sutton (the Four Charms) on bass and Jason Smay (Los Straitjackets) on drums—the album also features guest appearances by Eddie Angel (Los Straitjackets), Jack Lawrence (the Raconteurs, Greenhornes), Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius and Nicole Atkins.

Undivided Heart & Soulisthe followup to 2015's Let the Good Times Roll. You can preorder it here. For more about McPherson, visit jdmcpherson.com and stay tuned for the December 2017 issue of Guitar World.

September 7 – Madison, WI @ Central Park Sessions
September 8 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell's Eccentric Cafe
September 9 – Akron, OH @ The University of Akron*
September 14 – Nashville, TN @ American Legion Hall*
September 22 – Tahlequah, OK @ Medicine Stone^
September 23 – Helotes, TX @ John T. Floore Country Store
September 28 – Kansas City, MO @ Knuckleheads
September 30 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
October 1 – Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater & Club
October 2 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room
October 4 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo's*
October 5 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom*
October 7 – Saratoga, CA @ The Mountain Wineryƒ
October 8 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent*
October 11 – Solana Beach, CA @ The Belly Up*
October 12 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown*
October 13 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory*
October 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent*
October 15 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom*
October 18 – Dallas, TX @ Kessler*
October 19 – Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn*
October 20 – Gruene, TX @ Gruene Hall*
October 21 – Houston, TX @ The Continental*
October 22 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
November 1 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West~
November 2 – Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle~
November 3 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle~
November 4 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat~
November 5 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live~
November 7 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg~
November 8 – Troy, NY @ The Hangar
November 9 – Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
November 10 – Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace
November 11 – Buffalo, NY @ Tralf Music Hall
November 14 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Bag
November 15 – Columbus, OH @ Skully's
November 16 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
November 17 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner's
November 18 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement East*with Nikki Lane
^with Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Cody Canada & the Departed
ƒwith the Mavericks
~with Nicole Atkins

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.