Review: Grayson Capps, Songbones

There is nothing better than a story well-told.

The best musicians in the genre called folk — much larger than Greenwich Village or a coffeehouse could hold — tell their stories by using tools beyond words. Instrumentation, vocal style and a well-chosen phrase play as much of a role.

Grayson Capps — a New Orleans-bred guitarist perhaps best known for his work on the film A Love Song for Bobby Long, based on a novel by his father — imbues a sense of place in his songs without even saying a word. An acoustic guitar and a violin are a simple but evocative backdrop on Songbones, an album from a 2002 studio session.

Then there’s Capps’ raspy, deep vocals — giving off a sense of dread and mourning at times, regret others. Though many of these songs would see a more fleshed-out existence on two other albums — If You Knew My Mind and Wail & Ride — here a minimalist approach works very well. Capps’ brilliant lyrics and evocative voice step to the fore on “Washboard Lisa” and “Graveyard”, both of which are among the best on this album.


One thought on “Review: Grayson Capps, Songbones

  1. Mac

    Thanks for the post on Grayson Capps. He’s become a favorite–even if he doesn’t play NYC enough. He’ll be releasing a new album in August.

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