Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Jon Dee Graham -- Full

Jon Dee Graham's latest album Full has been out for a couple years now. I listened to it when it was new, reviewed it for Paste, and thought it was a decent roots rock album. Jon Dee is best known as Alejandro Escovedo's sidekick and former bandmate, and there are certainly some similarities with Alejandro's thoughtful and raw music here. But taking "slow grower" to new extremes, I've been coming back to Jon Dee's latest and best solo album quite a bit of late, and I've been paying far more attention. It's a great album, characterized by Byrds-like chiming guitars, a gravel-voiced vocalist who will call to mind Tom Waits, and some absolutely superb songwriting.

Maybe it has something to do with attending three funerals in August. "O death, where is thy sting?" the apostle Paul asks. Right here. Check it out. I can show you the holes in the ground and at least hint at the holes in my heart. But this song, in particular, strikes me as one of the best hymns I've heard in a long time. A fallen world? I don't need much convincing, although this song hammers home the truth.

Got out of the garden, no longer is it home
Sat down on the outside ground, my newmade world to roam
But I named all the animals, the fishes in the pond
I wake up in the morning, they wonder where we've gone

He pulled the door, blocked by flaming sword
Of course the last word would be the Lord's
What did we do wrong?
Never will I hide myself again

Driven out beneath the sky we walked a pilgrim's pace
She said this land is huge, this land is grand
But it's empty of his grace
There is so much space to fill and he is not in this space

He slammed the door, blocked by flaming sword
Of course the last word will be the Lord's
What did we do wrong?
Never will I hide myself again

We're grateful for the grasses, we're grateful for the grains
We're grateful for the lands in use, we're grateful when it rains
But secretly and most of all we're grateful for the dreams
About the beloved garden that never again we'll see

He closed the door, blocked by flaming sword
The last word of course will be the Lord's
What did we do wrong?
Never will I hide myself again
-- Jon Dee Graham, "Beloved Garden"

2 comments:

Ian said...

I plan to make my way to Austin from NW Ohio at some point, really only to see John Dee play on his home turf. Can't get enough of "Swept Away." Has anyone heard how his first shows back from his accident went?

just.scott76 said...

not really in reference to this but...so much for that U2 album in 2008 http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/09/03/u2-pen-fifty-to-sixty-songs-new-album-pushed-to-2009/