Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Grayson Capps - Wail and Ride


Grayson Capps has called New Orleans home for over twenty years. Hurricane Katrina changed all of that. Capps and many of his fellow New Orleanians were left homeless and scattered across the country. The events that have transpired since the storm were the driving force behind Grayson Capps’ “Waltz of New Orleans”. Set to the tune of John Prine's "Paradise", “Waltz of New Orleans” is the best post-Katrina tribute I've heard.

YouTube video: Grayson Capps - Waltz of New Orleans

If you think that accent doesn’t sound typical to New Orleans, you’re right. Grayson Capps was born and raised around Opelika, Alabama. After a short stint with "thrash-folk" group The House Levellers, Capps moved to New Orleans were he was the front man for the slide guitar-driven roots-rockers Stavin' Chain. After one album their record company went belly up.

He initially went to New Orleans to attend Tulane University, where he earned a degree in Theater. It was while he was at Tulane that music became a major part of his life. Director Shainee Gabel recruited Capps for several songs for the movie “Anthem” followed by a half dozen more for the 2005 movie “A Love Story for Bobby Long”, set in New Orleans. His solo debut CD “If You Knew My Mind” received critical acclaim when released last year and has made Capps something of a phenomenon throughout the South. “If You Knew My Mind” earned him a European Tour and a spot at Bonnaroo.

Grayson Capps’ songwriting celebrates the seedier side of life in the South. His is a world of trailer parks, whiskey bottles, and misfortune. His whiskey-soaked vocals complete the picture. A poet-laureate of the underclass, it’s difficult not to compare his superb songwriting with the likes of Townes Van Zandt, but with the Southern rock drive comparable to the Drive By Truckers.
No Depression said: "Capps plays rusted-out, countrified swamp-blues, whittled down to the dirt floor. His weathered drawl recalls Delbert McClinton, while his subject matter channels Tom Waits."
There are no hidden messages or meanings in his lyrics, just a direct blow to the gut. Capps captures the struggles and joys of everyday life, packed with simple emotion.

His new CD “Wail & Ride” is a fast drive in an old pick-up, down a dirt road with a six-pack of empties rollin’ around on the floor.

Pour yourself a whiskey, straight, in a dirty glass and head on over to www.graysoncapps.com for more info and streaming clips of the soulful, country-fried, story-songs of Grayson Capps.

Grayson Capps - New Orleans Waltz.mp3

More clips, tour info, etc. at www.graysoncapps.com
More at myspace.com/graysoncapps
Buy "Wail & Ride" at Amazon.com

6 Comments:

Anonymous Phillip said...

Eilen Jewell wrote a song called "The Flood" about the New Orleans hurricane for her album BOUNDARY COUNTY. Probably my favourite album of the past year.

December 06, 2006 2:49 PM  
Anonymous G-Dub said...

Pretty good song, I like his sound, but I don't know how he can give Nagin a pass and still blame Bush.

I keep picturing all those busses just sitiing there when they could have been used to help evacuate.

That was a crime.

No defense of Bush here, but Nagin...just incompetent.

December 06, 2006 5:22 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Phillip,
Good to hear from you again.
I wasn’t familiar with Eilen Jewell. I have given her a listen I like what I’ve heard. I ordered a CD while I was at it.
I do like her song, “The Flood”, but, having lived in New Orleans I still think that Capps has captured the feel of the city and those displaced by the storm.

December 06, 2006 8:31 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

g-dub,
I’d have to agree with you on that point. I think everyone dropped the ball, big time. The thought of those half-submerged busses is heartbreaking, and yes, criminal.

As for the music of Grayson Capps: I really enjoy his songwriting and subject matter. To be honest, “New Orleans Waltz” is not representative of his finer songs on the album, but is the only cut I had permission to post. Visit his website or MySpace and give a listen to some of his other songs.

December 06, 2006 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny that you should mention the nagin thing 'cause i recently saw capps up here in nyc and he changed the lyric to say..."even though nagin didn't do the best that he could" -- a mouthful for sure...but i think he's come around on that one. heh heh. if you haven't seen him live yet...do yourself a favor. it's like watching an exorcism. he's a spooked dude and not afraid to confront the demons head on.

December 08, 2006 12:53 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I'll be checking his schedule to see when he's within driving distance.

December 09, 2006 4:03 PM  

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