At the end of last November, Durham singer-songwriter and Red Collar leader J Kutchma played a week-long residency at The Cave in Chapel Hill. It was his first string of shows in several months, and Kutchma cited the need to refocus on his performances as the reason for the preceding break.

Now, on the heels of his hiatus and return, Kutchma and his band, The Five Fifths, are ready with a new record, Blue Highways. It’s due out March 19 via Last Chance Records. Like 2012’s Pastoral, Blue Highways has a book companion. This time, there’s also a film component.

Kutchma is a skilled lyricist, delivering hard-hitting tunes that blend the best parts of rock ‘n’ roll and sounds of the South. For Blue Highways, he recruited longtime friends George Hage (Jack the Radio), Steve Oliva (Spider Bags), Evan Rowe (Maple Stave) and more to flesh out the full band.

You can watch a trailer for Blue Highways below. The film premieres at Motorco on March 10, followed by a solo set from Kutchma.

Blue Highways Trailer from Travis Hill on Vimeo.