Warren Givens Returns With New Album Rattle The Cages on August 7th

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Monday, July 27, 2020

A true son of the new, progressive South, Warren Givens has spent the last half of his life on the move, chasing a muse—from Mississippi to Nashville to New Orleans to Austin—but it wasn’t until he returned to Asheville, North Carolina, that Givens saw the clearer, bigger, balanced picture. On August 7th, Givens will release Rattle the Cages, a full-length album in two parts; the first half being electric, synthesized, rock and roll versions of his new songs and the second half the same songs, dialed back to the acoustic roots of what made Givens tick in the first place. Produced and engineered by fellow Asheville-based musician Seth Kauffman (Floating Action, Ray LaMontagne, Day of the Dead), Rattle the Cages gives fans a look into the extreme ends of what a set of songs can sound like from inception to release, all while navigating a global pandemic throughout the recording process; the second half of the album was finished via voice memos and text messages between Givens and Kauffman. “The balance between the two versions was very important because folk music is at the core of everything that I do,” says Givens. “So, while wanting to venture into new waters with the full band versions, I felt it was necessary to keep the reminder of my musical roots.” American Songwriter premiered the album’s title track(s), praising Givens’s tried and true approach of “making good music for people to dig—after that, let the chips fall where they may,” and The Bitter Southerner premiered “Broken Wing,” saying, “this song feels really right for right now.” Fans can pre-order or pre-save the entirety of Rattle the Cages at this link.

“This record means saying ‘screw it’ by throwing out my fears and trusting myself in a way that I've never experienced before,” says Givens on his state of mind during the writing and recording process of Rattle the Cages. “I set out to simultaneously write and record the most natural songs I could muster, and also to record them in a way that pushes the envelope while mirroring my evolving influences.” In the end, what made the most sense for Givens and Kauffman was not meeting in the middle on vibe and feel, but fleshing out both ends of the spectrum to their fullest extent; setting up a double EP of sorts on which there are no compromises. The aforementioned “Broken Wing” feels strikingly different from its electric version to the acoustic version, but, like the rest of the pairs of songs on the album, the song itself always gets the spotlight.

“You’re On My Mind” is the one song on Rattle the Cages which doesn’t get the double-version treatment; a connector of the two different sides. It’s also the only song to feature a musician that isn’t Givens or Kauffman, Warren’s sister and longtime collaborator, Ivy Givens, on vocals and fiddle. “Ivy flew down from New York, and we gathered around one big dynamic mic–old school bluegrass style,” Givens recalls. “We did guitar, fiddle, and our vocals live, maybe two takes tops, and then Seth added the drums, bass, and electric guitar.” When Givens speaks about the process, both with each song individually and the album as a whole, his tone matches that of the songs; a beautifully lighthearted approach to some pretty complicated stuff. Givens’s renewed approach to making records showcases an effortless and uncontrived maturity and growth only found in artists who get out and do some living in between each record cycle, and it shows. “Everything on Rattle the Cages was written and recorded with the conscious mindset of ‘first take’ to embrace the anomalies, not get bogged down with meticulous edits, and just have some damn fun.”

More About Warren Givens: Givens has toured the country as a utility musician for the Grammy-nominated bluegrass act Steep Canyon Rangers and duetted with country superstar Miranda Lambert on her song "Old Shit" (earning recognition from Rolling Stone along the way). American Songwriter has enthusiastically recommended his "rootsy rock & rollers and modern Americana folksongs," while The Boot praises his "unique lyrical perspective married to a genuine sense of song craftsmanship." Givens’ new album Rattle the Cages will be available on August 7th.

Rattle the Cages Tracklisting: 

Asylum Avenue

Broken Wing

Rattle the Cages

Angels and Demons

Bad Weather

You’re On My Mind

Asylum Avenue - Acoustic

Broken Wing - Acoustic

Rattle the Cages - Acoustic

Angels and Demons - Acoustic

Bad Weather - Acoustic