“A Pound of Rust” – J.D. Graham (2023) [english]

Suggestions, suggestions and more.

The best way I can discover new music to listen to and then, in my turn, recommend is the suggestions of my American connections.

Facebook groups of fans of the various groups or just independent music fans, friends with whom I have been trading for years, who often suggest me artists from this part of the Ocean probably would never discover (some of them are so dear now that they send me gifts and records).

It’s the beauty of social media, streaming services. I say it often, I know, but it’s the truth: I consider it the only really positive note of this digitalized music world.

There are times when new records come out in a burst and many times I struggle to choose one to tell you about for the weekend and I leave behind many and many moments when it is flat calm.

This weekend until mid-week was like this: calm and zero records that had impressed me or stories that had kidnapped me.

Lots of singles have been released that will become records that I will definitely tell you about like Steel Woods, Erin Viancourt, Joe Stamm Band, but no full album.

One of my friends from U.S.A. suggested me this artist and his second album, this A Pound of Rust.

The story of J.D. Graham is one of those stories that fascinate, bring sadness, but also joy because they are stories of falls and ascents, of guilt and redemption.

J.D. started his career in music and addiction when he was very young. Pills and an adolescence practically stolen and full of anguish and anxiety. Everything was poured into the heavy metal music where ours had begun to make a name in Oklahoma.

From the metal genre, he switched to southern rock and with his band, Sour Diesel Train Wreck had a very notable success throughout the United States.

The album that the band recorded in 2012 gave the group a lot of notoriety and tour support to leading artists of the movement in Oklahoma in those years was the most: red dirt.

He performed with Stoney La Rue, Cody Canada & the Departed, Reckless Kelly, Jason Boland, but also Turnpike Troubadours and Molly Hatchet.

It was precisely the closeness to these artists and the knowledge he made with them that had a significant impact on the way he made music and wrote Graham’s songs. Those artists were digging into their souls and he would try to do the same and he will succeed.

The turning point in his life, though certainly negative, occurred 10 years after moving to Arizona in 2017.

A devastating car accident that cost him five years in prison and the knowledge that, if he wanted to stay alive, he had to give a turn.

Aided in prison by his proximity to the church and his music, he made the decision to quit drugs forever.

The decision freed his mind, not only his body, from the heaviness of a burden that was not only chemical, but also of his head and this liberation led him to start writing songs.

It was a river in full and the artist says he wrote over 160.

In 2019 he wrote a page of history, this time beautiful, when he was allowed to record from prison his beautiful, dry and raw album Razorwire Sunrise, inspired by the vision of his cell every morning.

He began a musical program of lessons that became very important in the area, so much to get over $ 20,000 in donations and that continues today.

In short, a truly incredible positive impact. The music allowed him to get naked, to get in touch with himself and his soul and to get out of a tunnel that seemed to have no way out and all this he wanted to convey to the kids who lived difficult situations.

Situations that did not make them live life with their head held high and with a smile.

Here we come to 2023 and the decision to record his second album, this A Pound of Rust.

I won’t talk about it song by song as I usually do, not because it’s not worth it, but because a record that should be listened to, savored and experienced.

A disk not easy, but powerful and essential. A record where his voice and his guitar will take you in his true and sincere stories, accompanied only by a pedal-steel, an organ and rhythm.

If I had to look for a comparison to frame the wonderful music that J.D. Graham plays there, maybe it could be the expressive power of Nebraska by Springsteen, the sincerity of Hank Williams with a powerful and intense voice reminiscent of the great folkmen of the past.

It’s an album with a powerful impact, if I had to choose songs I could tell you about the title track where the author lays bare and tells us about his failures, the drugs and all the consequences.

There is the lost love to grieve and to feel bad about in Two Days South of December, there is the loss of a loved one in Her Memory, moving and intense, but perhaps my favorite is West Virginia, a ballad where the voice enters the soul almost in the manner of the great bluesman.

His reckless life full of mistakes is true and in his songs he always speaks to us from personal experience as in the beautiful Quiet in My Cloud, not with remorse, but with the knowledge that it is those mistakes that have led him to a recording studio in Nashville and today we can certainly say that this is his place.

A disc of simple and disarming beauty.

The result of a life full of mistakes and falls, but also of beautiful rebirth and redemption.

A journey through addictions, prison and the desire to escape from everything to find a way to cope.

J.D. Graham is a true poet, one who speaks of himself without fear of undressing before us, not to ask for forgiveness or to be pitied, but only to tell stories that maybe someone will need to understand that music is a catharsis for the soul: helps to get rid of burdens on the heart that might otherwise crush you.

If you love songwriters and poets, like those from our distant past that are marked by their lives and even more real ones, here’s J.D. Graham should be right in your playlists.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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