When Beau Jennings set out to make a new album, he intended it to be about his experiences in his current home, Brooklyn. What he ended up with on The Verdigris was something far richer, stretching back to his childhood hometown in Oklahoma.
Reaching back to his roots, Jennings was drawn to a childhood hero of his, Oklahoma legend Will Rogers. The Verdigris River, which weaves between his hometown of Inola, OK and Rogers’ hometown in nearby Oologah, OK, both gave Jennings the name for his album, and set him on a journey to retrace the steps of Rogers’ life, from his birthplace in Oklahoma to his death by plane crash in Alaska. That is, Jennings literally traveled to the major locales in Rogers’ life, recording new songs he’d written along the way, drawing inspiration from the places he visited, using field recordings of the nature around him to layer the tracks (and even recording his journey on film with the help of his friend, Bradley Beesley).
A rich, noble exploration of memory, inspiration and nostalgia, The Verdigris is at once both beautiful and haunting, echoing with the sounds of nature and the tendrils of a revisited and reimagined past. Jennings weaves poetic, complex lyrics with sweet melodies both joyous and doleful, painting a picture through song that is as winding and complex as the river from which the album takes its name.