Saturday, January 21, 2006

Rare, Rare Find: Jon Dee Graham

I am going to try to follow my own advice on this one.

Sounds Like: Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen

The Story: After a stint with Austin punk band the Skunks, Jon Dee Graham joined brothers Javier and Alejandro Escovedo in the early roots-rock band, the True Believers. Got a major label contract. Had some success. Released a Jim Dickinson-produced album. Fought and broke-up. This was the mid-80s.

He stuck around L.A. Played with folks like John Doe and even had a song ("One Moment to Another") recorded by Patty Smyth that went gold.

In the mid-90s, burnt out, he came to Austin and quietly got to work as a carpenter ... until Kelly Willis lured him back as her guitarist.

Skip ahead to now. He's released four critically acclaimed solo albums including his latest, The Great Battle. And if you live in Austin, you might even be tired of hearing his name. You're lucky if you are.


The True Believers are said to reunite and hit the road with Los Lobos - just like they did in 1986. For years, Graham and Alejandro Escovedo were not on speaking terms. I interviewed Escovedo during that time at his home in South Austin. After a couple of hours of talking and as he was walking me out, the topic of No Depression magazine's recognition of him as the "Artist of the Decade" came up. He said, funny story about that. When Graham heard about Escovedo's honor, his response was: 'Thank God the decade's almost over.' Escovedo half-laughed as he told me.

When my interview published, Escovedo reprinted it on his website. It was a long, rambling, 2,000-plus word piece. It needed editing. The part Escovedo choose to cut: the final paragraph where I retold his Graham/No Depression story.




At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice post ... majesty of love is such a great song.


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