Grayson Capps’ fifth studio album, The Lost Cause Minstrels, finds the Mobile, Alabama-based singer-songwriter coming of age. But that doesn’t mean his often unholy tales of the Southern Gothic have lost any of their sting. Quite the contrary, Capps’ Tao-tinged philosophical musings revealed inside songs shuddering with spit, stomp and snarl are as potent as ever. Look no further than “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 accepting of the unanswered questions mucking up the universe. And yes, 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. Two rare but classic American roots’ numbers are born again here, as well: 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, fittingly, it’s reflected in the album’s spirit. In 2010, he dissolved his band The Stumpknockers, re-assembling a new cast of musicians dubbed The Lost Cause Minstrels. The line-up features a who’s who of the finest players on the Gulf Coast music scene and their musical breadth makes an immediate impact. Capps also moved back to Alabama where he was born and raised in the midst of recording the album, having lived in Nashville since 2007 after being driven from his New Orleans’ home of a decade-plus following Hurricane Katrina. He co-produced the effort with his longtime partner and revered 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.
“Take the poetry of Texas troubadour Townes Van Zandt, combine with Steve Earle’s edgy attitude and stir with a little cup of the bayou-blues (think Howlin’ Wolf) and you start to get a taste of Capps’s scrumptious gothic gumbo.” – AMERICAN SONGWRITER
“Although his distinctive sound is rootsy at its core, a Dixie-fried amalgam of twang-rock, Memphis soul, and roadhouse blues, Capps’ Tennessee-Williams-meets-Charles-Bukowski lyrical style is equal parts Southern Gothic and Los Angeles noir. His songs are literate, imaginative, and sometimes magical, his storytelling skills matched by an uncanny sense of musical history that will grow on you like kudzu vine.” – BLURT
“New Orleans’ marvel Grayson Capps is alive and well and slowly building one of the most phenomenal songbooks in America today. If ever there were a cat primed to pick up where Lowell George and John Prine have left off, it’s Capps.” – JAMBASE