Saturday, July 4, 2009

Grace Around The World

Last Sunday, I attended the cd/dvd release party of Jeff Buckley's Grace Around The World under the sweltering half moon on the outside deck of Mother Egan's Pub. Buckley's mother, Mary Guibert, was in attendance and I wondered, as she watched her son's live performances on the screen, if it brought her sadness, pride, or a mixture of both. Buckley drowned in May of 1997 in Memphis after having released only one album, but oh what an album it is. Grace was released on August 23, 1994, but wasn't well received commercially, peaking at #149 on the Billboard charts in the U.S. But, while sales of Buckley's debut album were sluggish, worldwide critical acclaim for Grace was off the charts.

Grace continues to be one of my top ten favorite albums of all-time, but for awhile I suspected that Jeff Buckley's amazing voice that I heard on Grace could only be possible through slick studio production...until I saw the dvd, Live in Chicago. His voice is something rare and it pulls you in whether you're a fan of his or not. Led Zeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page, said of Buckley's voice - "Technically, he was the best singer that had appeared probably in - I'm not being too liberal about this - if I say, in two decades."

The problem with Grace Around The World is that Buckley has been dead for quite a while now and there is nothing in this live cd/dvd release that hasn't already been covered. If you want to see Jeff Buckley's performance live, get your hands on the dvd, Live in Chicago. If you want to hear Buckley's live recordings, you need to pick up the cd, Live at Sin-e. Whatever you decide to do, do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in the sounds of the late, great Jeff Buckley whenever you get the chance. You won't be disappointed.

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