Grayson Capps: Wail and Ride


With his grisly Southern-twanged vocals, Grayson Capps channels a Louisiana-bred version of Randy Newman.  Poetic lyrics delivered with a unique timing fuse together with a rough pop slash of country.  Verbose prose and extended dialogues compose much of the lyrics, sometimes causing a jumble of words – as if Capps takes a deep breath and spouts out as many words as his breath can muster. 

The title track leads things off, a motivating rush of guitar and fervent attitude that might as well be the next Ford truck commercial.  Folk and blues lie in the background of many tracks, but comes to the forefront in “Cry Me One Tear.”  The folk ballad “New Orleans Waltz” mixes political bitterness, sorrow for the hurricane tragedy, and hope for the future.  The song’s light sound beneath the heavy subject is a wonderful homage to Capps’ former homeland, and the accompaniment is both minimal and minstrel-like.  To close the album, the simple “Waterhole Branch” involves third and fifth interval harmonies and a dry, dusty acoustic guitar that eventually fades into a New Orleans summer night.  While the term “Southern rock” usually comes from a lack of creativity, it most certainly applies to Capps’, as his drawl, love of whiskey (“Ed Lee”), rough-riding, tenacious sounds, and wisdom beyond his years exudes Southern rock in the truest sense. 

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