Former Verve member and songwriter Richard Ashcroft has announced the upcoming release of new album Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1 on October 29th via RPA / BMG. The album will feature twelve newly recorded acoustic versions of classic songs from both his solo career and his time with The Verve and will be released digitally, on CD, on several variants of vinyl, and even on cassette.
The album became a way for Ashcroft to bring musicians together after lockdown was lifted in the UK and as the work progressed, the group discovered how “varied their new approaches could be”. Some of the arrangements remained similar to the originals, with Ashcroft discovering a “fresh empathy” for their lyrics in his vocals, while other songs took new directions.
Standouts on the abum that will please fans include “Bittersweet Symphony”, a song on which Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have now relinquished their writing credits to Ashcroft, “C’Mon People (We’re Making It Now),” which features a duet with Liam Gallagher, and “Velvet Morning”.
A more surprising inclusion on Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1 is “This Thing Called Life”, a song that Ashcroft has rarely played live.
Produced by Ashcroft with regular collaborator Chris Potter, the album also features the contributions of Wil Malone on string arrangements recorded at Abbey Road Studios, Chuck Leavell (The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers) on piano, Roddy Bloomfield with a brass section, and Steve Wyreman (Leon Bridges, Vic Mensa) on acoustic guitar and backing vocals.
Ashcroft is also doing four special shows in October and November in the UK, billed as “An acoustic evening of his classic songs.” After selling out two nights at London’s Palladium, he added two bigger shows at the Royal Albert Hall and the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.
16th – London, Palladium (SOLD OUT)
17th – London, Palladium (SOLD OUT)
29th – Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena
1st – London, Royal Albert Hall