Blues Before & After
Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., Nov. 29, 2013
Gary GravesTill the End of Time
With his rich, trembling, Nina Simone-like voice hovering like a hummingbird over vibrant, finger-action acoustic guitar, local open-mic workhorse Gary Graves strikes a secret chord, and oneness flows. "What would you do if I told you I love you?" he inquires with stinging delivery on soulful opener "If I Told You." "Would you say, 'I can't stand in front of a speeding train and hope to survive/I can't take the blast from the barrel of a loaded gun and hope to turn up alive?'" The power of love, peace, and humanity are the forces in Grave's unfailing voice on Till the End of Time, a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Ravner Salinas. This being his first recording since 2005, Graves offers his delayed response to Hurricane Katrina with "Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," a suffering narrative contextualized into 250 years of racism.