All Alone In This Together

We Are All Alone In This Together

Graham Lindsey

Spacebar Recordings (2008 )

 

What is it in a simple progression of notes that can bring a person close to tears?  Even before adding in a well-crafted lyric.  How a few notes strung together in a very specific manner evoke a primal reaction, a blood lust of the ear.

 

Graham Lindsey does this to me with “The Bird That Lived In  A Burning Tree”, on his new Spacebar recording, We Are All Alone In This Together in general circulation this week.  I’m a long-time fan of Graham, once compared him to Bob Dylan channeling Hank Williams.  Twangville compares and contrasts him with Old Crow Medicine Show or The Avett Brothers.  Yes.  And no.  Graham Lindsey simply brings together an honest appreciation of folk traditions with a hard-driving post-punk honky tonk spirit.  Graham is the man.

 

The album opens with a plaintive line on “Tomorrow is Another Night” and moves through a dozen strong tracks of love, life and stuff on the shovel.  “Old Roger” caught my attention right away.  Graham uses a variety of session players to enhance his typical solo show, adding dobro, pedal steel, percussion, fiddle, upright bass, organs, horns, even piano and Henry’s bark.  I’m sure more than a couple of those instruments saw the inside of Music Villa in Bozeman.

 

Yet it is Track 4, “The Bird…” that grew on me with each play.  A simple one-two progression builds, adds lyrics without overpowering the instrumentation, builds acoustic instrumentation without overpowering the guitar, then fades away into the night.  I’m sure that somebody who stayed awake in music appreciation class could swiftly identify the artistic device.  The technical terminology.  The proper analytic context.  How the melody and instrumentation build a memorable wave.

 

I just know there are a very few times in this life when a melody hits me upside the head like a shovel.  The 2nd part of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto in D Minor.  Hank Williams’ I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.  And now Graham Lindsey.

 

Check him out on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/grahamlindsey

 

Cold wind blows

make you weep and moan

why has this found my home?

because that’s the one we chose

everybody’s got to choose

everybody’s got to choose

 

(Cross-posted from last.fm)

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