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Garage Sale!
     

Garage Sale!

by Jon Dee Graham
 
Woody Guthrie once said that he wanted to write songs that told you something you already knew, but never realized. Jon Dee Graham has made a career out of just those kinds of songs, lyrics with the kind of raw honesty we all profess to aspire to, but seldom put into practice in everyday life. The 11 tunes here are all short, but they

Overview

Woody Guthrie once said that he wanted to write songs that told you something you already knew, but never realized. Jon Dee Graham has made a career out of just those kinds of songs, lyrics with the kind of raw honesty we all profess to aspire to, but seldom put into practice in everyday life. The 11 tunes here are all short, but they make up for their brevity with the telling insights Graham packs into every line. "Unafraid" opens the set with moaning churchy organ as Graham toasts a life of surviving disasters with his usual gift of colorful phrases: "I've pulled a thorn from the paw of a lion/I've pulled a fang from the jaw of a snake/I've stole the coins from the eyes of my enemy/And now I am unafraid." He reinvents "O Dearest One" from his Full album (delivered there as a stark guitar-and-vocal lament) as a duet with Erin Ivey. Their harmonies give the song an uplifting feel, but the lyrics still retain their sting. It's a warts-and-all love song full of dark humor that speaks of a relationship's tribulations without avoiding responsibility or placing blame -- "I swear to you that I've done my best/But I guess, that my best, is not very good." Graham's arrangements run the gamut from the lovely '50s pop of "Yes Yes," with its sparkling piano, to the rowdy, bluesy rock of "Where Were Yr Friends?" and the guitar-and-vocal tour de force "Codeine/Codine," a drug song as depressing as its subject. He also plays some fine Hawaiian-style pedal steel on "#19," a moody instrumental full of glistening blue notes and shimmering slides.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/17/2012
Label:
Freedom (City Hall)
UPC:
0600054106224
catalogNumber:
1062
Rank:
301089

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