Jon Dee Graham

Garage Sale (Freedom)

Texas Platters

Jon Dee Graham

Garage Sale (Freedom)

With "garage" in the title, Jon Dee Graham's eighth solo disc could be a blast of ruddy-cheeked punk from the Raul's era Skunks guitarist. Instead, he presents a collection unlike anything in his past. Garage Sale is filled with languid moments, potent images, and – since it's Jon Dee Graham, after all – occasional six-string thunder. In retrospect, his last two projects, 2008's It's Not as Bad as It Looks and, playing as the Hobart Brothers with Lil' Sis Hobart (Freedy Johnston, Susan Cowsill), earlier this year on At Least We Have Each Other, pointed the way to the celebrated Austin singer-songwriter opening himself to different textures. Here it's in full bloom on "O Dearest One," an almost-too-cute duet with local songstress Erin Ivey, and the dream pop of "Yes Yes," haunting piano figure included. Near Garage Sale's end, the music indeed pulls into the garage, beginning with the Hawaiian-style steel guitar and vibes instrumental "#19." "Collapse" follows with combustible guitars à la Crazy Horse and the album closes with the unclassifiable yet funky "Radio Uxtmal (Venceremos)," a distant cousin to Wall of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio." Adventurous, confounding, Garage Sale actually explains itself on the opening track, "Unafraid." Over a bed of Sunday morning Booker T. & the MGs-like organ, Graham intones in his gloriously weathered Tom Waits-ian rasp, "I've pulled a thorn from the paw of the lion/And I've snatched the fang from the jaws of the snake" like a man and musician who wears his battle scars unselfconsciously. Once again, JDG has followed his muse to an unexpected plateau.

***

READ MORE
More Jon Dee Graham
Margaret Moser Tribute: Jon Dee Graham
Jon Dee Graham
A champion of Austin music – and Austin music writers

William Harries Graham, June 30, 2017

Texas Platters
Love Notes From the Bear
Austin's big brown bear of a singer-songwriter-Stratocaster, Jon Dee Graham, doodles his wife, real-life concerns, and ardor

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 12, 2016

More Music Reviews
Sunday ACL Fest Platter: Okey Dokey
Okey Dokey
Love You, Mean It (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 13, 2017

Sunday ACL Fest Platter: White Reaper
White Reaper
The World's Best American Band (Record Review)

Isabella Castro-Cota, Oct. 13, 2017

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Jon Dee Graham

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)