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The Lost Cause Minstrels

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 oft-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 his bite is older, wiser and more accepting of the unanswered questions mucking up the universe. And yes, occasionally, even a celebratory mood can prevail 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). In less metaphorical terms, Capps' real life situation has evolved and it's reflected in the album's 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 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 being driven from his home of a decade plus in New Orleans 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 Grayson Capps.

Review

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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: June 7, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: The Royal Potato Family
  • Run Time: 44 minutes
  • ASIN: B004WOXLF6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,038 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I started buying Grayson Capps' albums about three years ago, beginning with the re-issued version of 'Stavin' Chain'. 'The Lost Cause Minstrels' continues with his familiar mix of languid country blues, Southern gothic song-stories, and sweaty, dirt from the bayou blues-rock - all peppered with a generous helping of rhythms from New Orleans. But it doesn't end there - he is an exceptionally good lyricist and a nifty guitar player as well. Moreover, I like his voice too - living on the right-hand side of the Atlantic, you don't get to hear a genuine strung-out drawl like his all too often.

I'm not familiar with most of the supporting players and vocalists, but they sure have a good feel for Grayson's music. Instruments most often played are various electric/acoustic guitars, keyboards, electric bass and drums/percussion; 'Highway 42' also includes harmonica and banjo, and two songs feature horns. Additionally, many songs feature rich harmony/backing vocals. Grayson's gritty lyrics tell stories about the downtrodden or shady characters that inhabit his neck of the woods - with a presentation suggesting that he has personally known someone just like them (and maybe he has).

The album has a wide variety of tempos and styles, but Grayson and the band never abandon the signature Deep South vibe which defines all of his music. A few of the melodies and guitar riffs have a familiar ring to them, yet there is a freshness about them thanks to the imaginative instrumental and vocal arrangements. All songs are written by Grayson, except 'Jane's Alley Blues' (Richard Brown) and 'Annie's Lover' (Taj Mahal) - some comments about my favourites :

JOHN THE DAGGER - Heavy, grimy and uncomplicated Southern rock/blues-rock. Features Grayson playing electric slide.
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I discovered Grayson Capps for the first time on the PBS show "Jammin at Hippie Jack's", and I was immediately intrigued. I finally got around to ordering this CD, and man was I not disappointed. They've got a strong southern rock sound reminiscent of The Band or maybe Marshall Tucker but with a strong element of New Orleans in a lot of their rhythms. The whole album is good from start to finish, but a few of the standout tracks are Highway 42 (which reminds me a bit of Fire on the Mountain), Annie's Lover, Ol Slac, and an absolute masterpiece called Coconut Moonshine. The fact that this song is not being blasted by radio stations and juke joints everywhere is a sad reflection on the modern state of music. If you like southern rock and alt-country, do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
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A great representative of New Orleans culture & a unique voice
Grayson is even better live, & a great guy to boot
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Heard Coconut Moonshine on Sirius Radio while on a trip. Jotted down the song and planned to look it up later. Glad I did, very enjoyable CD. Songwriting is interesting and fun. Great CD.
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By Leelo on November 13, 2014
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Give this a try if you like Southern Rock .
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