Grayson Capps‘ fifth studio album, The Lost Cause Minstrels finds the Mobile, Alabama-based singer-songwriter coming of age. This doesn’t mean, however, that his oft-unholy tales of the Southern Gothic have lost any sting. Quite the contrary, Capps’ Tao-tinged, philosophical reflections—revealed deep inside songs shuddering with spit, stomp and snarl—are as potent as ever. Listen no further than the tracks: ”Highway 42,” “No Definitions” and ”Rock N Roll” to hear that Capps cedes no quarter. It’s just that this time his bark and bite is more conciliatory towards the unanswered questions mucking up the universe, while country soul-tinged textures and gospel harmonies ease the raw edges.
Occasionally, even a celebratory mood prevails like the horn-fueled romp ”Ol’ Slac,” an ode the rebirth of the Mobile, Alabama Mardi Gras; or ”Coconut Moonshine,” a character sketch based on Mr. Jim who inhabits the hallowed roadside barbecue joint in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. As well, two rare, but classic, American roots’ numbers are born again here:Taj Mahal’s country-blues paen ”Annie’s Lover” and Richard “Rabbit” Brown’s jaunty ”Jane’s Alley Blues,” (the original recording preserved on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music).
Grayson Capps’ real life situation has evolved since his previous release Rott ‘n’ Roll, and those developments are felt in both the album’s sound and spirit. In 2010, he dissolved his band The Stumpknockers, re-assembling a new cast of musicians, fittingly dubbed The Lost Cause Minstrels. The line-up features a who’s who of the finest players on the Gulf Coast music scene, including Corky Hughes on guitars, Chris Spies on keys, Christian Grizzard on bass and John Milham on drums.
In the middle of recording the album, Capps moved back to Alabama where he was born and raised. He’d been residing in Nashville since 2007 after leaving his longtime New Orleans’ home following Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, Capps co-produced the effort with his partner and Grammy Award-winning engineer/producer Trina Shoemaker (Queens of the Stone Age, Dylan Leblanc, Sheryl Crow).
All of these factors coalesce into a collection of songs timeless in their pursuit of truth yet well aware of how hard the truth is to find in these times. The Lost Cause Minstrels is the highly anticipated next chapter from one of the finest Southern troubadours of the day. Official Site | See Full Lineup