Saturday, September 17, 2005

New Orleans to Texas

Now should be a really good time for Jeff Klein. He's just released a critically well-received third album, The Hustler, and is starting to get broader recognition among fans of Ryan Adams and Wilco for his rough-hewn, world-weary voice and idiosyncratic songwriting. But if you read the bio on Klein's Web site, you know he's probably doing a lot of mourning right now:

Jeff Klein - The Hustler"Recording in New Orleans influenced everything about [The Hustler] . . .Between music and food and religion, it makes the hair on your arms stand up when you're walking down the street. You feel the electricity in the air. It just makes you feel more creative. And there's so much decadence: It's so frightening and so amazing and jaw dropping at the same time. And it's the only city in the whole world where a guy can get laid for playing the tuba."

So, a slice of a lost New Orleans through the mouth of a man who considered the city his second home:

Red Lantern (mp3) - Jeff Klein

Officially, Klein lives in Austin (he was raised in upstate New York) and has the kind of friends you might expect from someone who spends a lot of time in music hubs. Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum) and Ani DiFranco perform backing tracks on The Hustler. Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs) produced the record. Given Klein's artistic persona as a jaded womanizer, Dulli seems like the perfect production partner. But to tell you the truth, I prefer the unadorned sound of Klein's previous record, Everybody Loves A Winner.

I'm Sorry Sweet Emily (mp3) - Jeff Klein

Another contributor to Klein's new album is Billy Harvey (you must visit his mind-blowing Web site), an artist I first heard about at I Was Stolen By The Gypsies. That blog does a bang-up job of covering Texas singer/songwriters like Harvey, Salim Nourallah and Kacy Crowley, with lots of great live performance photos. Go check it out--especially if you're a Texan!


Anonymous jc said...

Couldn't agree more -- Dulli and his Whigs always seemed to force their "energy". It was a hook I guess, but it wore off pretty durn quick. Red Lantern is a chip off the old block. I like Sweet Emily, though it too seems to be reaching at times for that perfect emotion.

10:43 AM  
Blogger AG said...

aw shucks. thanks. i'm glad you loved billy's website! -AG

11:58 PM  

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