Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Grayson Capps at OZ Music

Grayson Capps at OZ Music

Alabama Music Office.com goes to OZ Music in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to see Grayson Capps perform. OZ Music hosts music performances by local and touring artists, sometimes bringing artists to Tuscaloosa that we would not see otherwise.

Grayson Capps' fifth studio album, The Lost Cause Minstrels finds the Mobile, Alabama-based singer-songwriter coming of age. This doesn't mean, however, that his oft-unholy tales of the Southern Gothic have lost any sting. Quite the contrary, Capps' Tao-tinged, philosophical reflections—revealed deep inside songs shuddering with spit, stomp and snarl—are as potent as ever. Listen no further than the tracks: "Highway 42," "No Definitions" and "Rock N Roll" to hear that Capps cedes no quarter. It's just that this time his bark and bite is more conciliatory towards the unanswered questions mucking up the universe, while country soul-tinged textures and gospel harmonies ease the raw edges.
Occasionally, even a celebratory mood prevails like the horn-fueled romp "Ol' Slac," an ode the rebirth of the Mobile, Alabama Mardi Gras; or "Coconut Moonshine," a character sketch based on Mr. Jim who inhabits the hallowed roadside barbecue joint in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
As well, two rare, but classic, American roots' numbers are born again here: Taj Mahal's country-blues paen "Annie's Lover" and Richard "Rabbit" Brown's jaunty "Jane's Alley Blues," (the original recording preserved on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music).
Grayson Capps' real life situation has evolved since his previous release Rott 'n' Roll, and those developments are felt in both the album's sound and spirit. In 2010, he dissolved his band The Stumpknockers, re-assembling a new cast of musicians, fittingly dubbed The Lost Cause Minstrels. The line-up features a who's who of the finest players on the Gulf Coast music scene, including Corky Hughes on guitars, Chris Spies on keys, Christian Grizzard on bass and John Milham on drums.
In the middle of recording the album, Capps moved back to Alabama where he was born and raised. He'd been residing in Nashville since 2007 after leaving his longtime New Orleans' home following Hurricane Katrina.
Additionally, Capps co-produced the effort with his partner and Grammy Award-winning engineer/producer Trina Shoemaker (Queens of the Stone Age, Dylan Leblanc, Sheryl Crow).
All of these factors coalesce into a collection of songs timeless in their pursuit of truth yet well aware of how hard the truth is to find in these times. The Lost Cause Minstrels is the highly anticipated next chapter from one of the finest Southern troubadours of the day.
Grayson Capps first discovered music in Alabama where he was born and raised. His father and friends would sit around the house getting drunk, telling stories and strumming acoustic guitars. They'd run down songs by Hank Williams, Tom T. Hall, Glenn Campbell and Woodie Guthrie to name but a few. The idealism of those "Cannery Row" experiences would come to define his outlook on the world. Heading off to Tulane University as a theater major on scholarship, Grayson also took up playing music. He'd form two bands that would have moderate national success—The House Levelers and Stavin' Chain— receiving acclaim in publications like Spin and USA Today and opening shows for Keith Richards, The Replacements and Crowded House. After graduating college, he took to squatting with friends in a string of abandoned houses on the outskirts of the Big Easy, stealing electricity, growing a garden and busking for whatever money was needed. Grayson recounts those times on a number of songs off his debut album, If You Knew My Mind. One of those memories even finds its way onto Rott 'N' Roll in the form of "Ike.
"Hailing from South Alabama and spending over a decade in New Orleans, revered singer-songwriter Grayson Capps has found listeners the world over enthralled by his stinging tales of the Southern Gothic. In his own words, he explains: "I write songs which have the voice of dead prophets masquerading as town drunks screaming 'look at us we're pretty, too!'"
Over the course of four critically acclaimed studio albums and cameo appearance in the Golden Globe Award-nominated film A Love Song For Bobby Long, one will find a stunning depth to his discography, authenticating Grayson Capps as a rare American gem, equal parts country singer, bluesman, rock star, philosopher and poet. As Jambase recently declared, "New Orleans' marvel Grayson Capps is alive and well and slowly building one of the most phenomenal songbooks in America today. If ever there were a cat primed to pick up where Lowell George and John Prine have left off, it's Capps."
Grayson Capps is currently touring the world in support of his new album, The Lost Cause Minstrels, on the Brooklyn record label Royal Potato Family. He will have two songs featured in the upcoming Screen Gems film Straw Dogs starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard.

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