Vincent Neil Emerson
Vincent Neil Emerson will release his highly anticipated new album, "The Golden Crystal Kingdom" on November 10th via La Honda Records/RCA Records. With "The Golden Crystal Kingdom", Emerson expands his sound, tapping into the storied influence of electrified folk legends like Leon Russell and Link Wray. As with his early work, the diamond-sharp storytelling remains Emerson’s focus under the big and explicit aesthetic of rock and roll. First single and music video for, “Little Wolf’s Invincible Yellow Medicine Paint,” has now been released.
“Little Wolf’s Invincible Yellow Medicine Paint” is a full-throttle meeting of western comic book influences inside a Neil Young guitar tuning. “The story was, basically, that a medicine man was tasked with motivating warriors to go into battle, they were going up against a bunch of white men with guns, and they knew they were going to die if they went into battle. So he came up with this special paint, this yellow medicine paint, and said, ‘If you wear this into battle, you’ll be invincible. No arrow can pierce you. No bullet can pierce you,’” Emerson remembers. “It’s an old-west-themed song, it’s not a modern-day story for sure,” says the man who proudly embraces his Choctaw-Apache heritage. “These are indigenous stories, whether or not that old West comic was true.”
Emerson crafted his song with more of an overdriven edge than his previous releases. “I wanted to make this song more than just a country song or a singer-songwriter type of song,” he has said. “I wanted this to be a rock and roll song. I wanted it to be loud and big. Shooter got the idea right off the bat. He knew exactly what I was thinking.” Emerson’s deft guitar picking in the first verse gives way to a soaring, guitar-driven chorus and the quickened heartbeat of a kick drum, all sinewed by a pulsing acoustic strum.
To accompany “Little Wolf’s Invincible Yellow Medicine Paint,” Emerson enlisted the help of Native American bareback horse race champion, Sharmaine Weed, to star i a music video. An ethereal glimpse into the dedication and training required to become a champion. The music video, was filmed in Wyoming near the Wind River reservation and depicts a fire-lit Emerson. With plenty of bucolic plains scenery that, against the song’s lyrics, highlights the human bond with horse. Emerson had profound thanks to the performance from Weed, of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes, who was also the focus of 2021 documentary Pure Grit.
"The Golden Crystal Kingdom" is the follow-up to Emerson’s first two LPs, "Fried Chicken & Evil Woman" and "Vincent Neil Emerson", from 2019 and 2021 respectively. The self-titled country album oozes of the iconic “Wild West” with honky-tonk sensibilities and bluegrass touches that combine so many favorite textures and styles of country and Americana. His personality and identity are forward in every aspect of the project, from the lyrics to the production to the genre fluidity of each individual track, all of which marvelously combine into a cohesive whole.
These first two LPs established Emerson as a refreshing voice in the Texas songwriter landscape. From humble beginnings booking his own barbecue joint shows to touring with label mate Colter Wall and fellow Texan Charley Crocket (of whose he covers on this release, “Time of the Cottonwood Trees”), Emerson built a career the old fashioned way, bar gig by bar gig, singular music fan by singular music fan.
Lauded to be a songwriter akin to John Prine and Townes Van Zandt, Vincent Neil Emerson is no stranger to work ethic. He started writing songs after he sat down and talked with my grandmother about her upbringing, what she went through, and how the whole Toledo Bend Reservoir [creation in Texas and Louisiana and the displacement of natives and entire communities] affected her family. A genuine Texas troubadour, he was raised in the small East Texas community of Myrtle Springs by his single mother, whose heritage was rooted in the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb, Louisiana. Vincent set out on his own highway when barely 16, eventually landing in Fort Worth, where he steadily built up a reputation as a rootsy singer-songwriter.
Emerson has an honesty to his voice, a been-there, lived-it nuance that lends his tales credibility and raises his music up a notch or ten. His kind of rootsy and mostly diverse strands of the country music canon just might make him your new favourite singer-songwriter. For modern ‘outlaw country’ music.
Vincent Neil Emerson's life’s journey has been tumultuous, hard-nosed, and the stuff songs are written about. It all brings the young Choctaw-Apache man’s journey to the limelight now. "The Golden Crystal Kingdom" shares more of the man behind the artist than any of his previous records, his songwriting and heritage are all on proud display throughout the new album.