A survivors tale of savage misadventure recounted by an uncompromising, compelling southern voice surfacing from a melange of layered guitars, strings, voices, and electronics. John Murry began recording The Graceless Age (co-produced with Tim Mooney and Kevin Cubbins) four years ago in San Francisco. He took the tapes to Memphis and back again, adding layers of sound as thick as San Francisco fog and Mississippi mud. Its a big sound at times back-up singers, panoramic guitar noise, sweet piano melodies, an orchestra of strings, bells, horns
but no matter how ethereal or expansive, at the heart of each song is something simple maybe written on an acoustic guitar or upright piano about loss and solitude and bad screwing-up, not always with a guilty conscience. Songs written in words blood red as Mississippi clay. They may be crafted but theyre soul-wrenchingly emotive, to the point of exploring and revisiting a personal Cavalry Most of the seeming metaphors arent metaphors, theyre literal reporting; the fire happened, so did the ambulance rides. Through those layers of sound, the guitars, the electronica, the twisted muzak, youre held by Murrys compelling North Mississippi voice, and you also hear the echoes of his near-kinsman William Faulkner, and the lessons he learned at Junior Kimbroughs juke joint, Jim Dickinsons Zebra Ranch, in the clubs and bars of Memphis. That he took to the city by the bay, down to The Mission where he died, was resurrected, and by grace told the tale.