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Frank Turner releasing LP dedicated to historical women, shares song about Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Frank Turner No Man's Land

Frank Turner has announced a new album, No Man’s Land, which is “dedicated to telling the fascinating stories of women whose incredible lives have all too often been overlooked.” “These stories should have been told already, and I suspect if they were men they would be better known,” Frank said on the accompanying “Tales From No One’s Land” podcast, which launched its first episode today. The album was produced by Catherine Marks (who’s worked with St. Vincent, Alex Lahey, Manchester Orchestra, and more), and recorded with all female musicians. The first single is “Sister Rosetta,” which is about blues legend Sister Rosetta Tharpe and uses some guitar parts from her own back catalog, “which I found challenging, because she’s a way better guitar player than me,” Frank said. Listen to that song and the new podcast episode below. No Man’s Land comes out August 16 via Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor (pre-order).

Here’s more via press release:

The women featured on the album’s 13 tracks come from across wide geographical and historical lines. There’s Byzantine princess Kassiani (The Hymn of Kassiani), Egyptian feminist activist Huda Sha’arawi (The Lioness), and Resusci Anne (Rescue Annie), an apocryphal drowned virgin whose face was used as the model for the medical CPR mannequin across the world (“You can’t not write a song about a woman who died never having been kissed and then became the most kissed face in history,” reasons Turner). There’s the serial killer from the Deep South who plucked her victims from lonely hearts pages (Nannie Doss), the jazz-obsessed heiress who fought for the Free French (Nica Rothschild), a rowdy coach house landlady from 17th century Camden Town accused of witchcraft (Jinny Bigham), the Wild West vaudeville star shot by a smalltown outlaw (Dora Hand). These are just a few of the fascinating characters who feature on No Man’s Land and have long been ignored by the mainstream.

“It’s bringing together my two main interests in life, which have always been separate from each other – history and songwriting,” explains Turner, who can be found seeking out long-forgotten historical sites on self-guided psychogeographical strolls when he’s not packing out arenas or headlining festivals.

[…] Despite the record’s implicit feminism, it doesn’t see Turner’s clambering onto any kind of soapbox. “It’s not telling anyone what to do or how to live or how to be,” he explains, prepared for a variety of different reactions to the project, including those who might be wondering if it’s really his place to be singing songs of disenfranchised women. “If there was a crowded field of people writing songs about Princess Kassiani then I would see the argument for me bowing out, but there isn’t,” he states. “No-one else is writing these songs right now. That’s why I want to share these stories.”

Frank also has some UK tour dates coming up this summer, and in December, his hardcore band Möngöl Hörde will tour North America, including a show at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus on December 13 (tickets). All dates are listed below.

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1. Jinny Bingham’s Ghost
2. Sister Rosetta
3. I Believed You, William Blake
4. Nica
5. A Perfect Wife
6. Silent Key
7. Eye of the Day
8. The Death of Dora Hand
9. The Graveyard of the Outcast Dead
10. The Lioness
11. The Hymn of Kassiani
12. Rescue Annie
13. Rosemary Jane

Frank Turner — 2019 Tour Dates
4th Coventry Empire (Solo Show Benefit for Wayout Arts)
5th Ashton Hall, Lancaster (Solo Show Benefit for Morecambe Food Bank)
6th & 7th King Tuts, Glasgow (Solo Show)
11th2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham
12th Wasteland Festival, Newcastle
14th Folk By The Oak Festival, Hatfield

3rd Wickham Festival, Fareham
4th Tunes in the Castle, Exeter
9th Cropredy Festival, Cropredy
22nd Cottingham Folk Festival (Solo Show)
25th Greenbelt Festival, Kettering

Mongol Horde — 2019 Tour Dates
08-Dec Chicago, IL Beat Kitchen
09-Dec Detroit, MI The Shelter
10-Dec Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
12-Dec Cambridge, MA The Sinclair
13-Dec Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus

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