Two years ago, when choosing an AUK Classic Americana album to write about, I selected ‘The Graceless Age’ by Tupelo, Mississippi-born singer-songwriter, John Murry. At the end of the piece, I stated that this brilliant collection of dark, self-destructive but often beautiful songs, from 2012, was surely due a vinyl reissue.
Well, the good news is that someone was paying attention, as the album is being re-released for this year’s Record Store Day (Saturday April 23). The latest edition – limited to 1,000 copies – is a new, half-speed master cut from the original source by engineer, John Webber, at Air Studios in London, with the record spread across four sides of 140g gold vinyl, in a gatefold sleeve and with a double-sided lyric insert. I only hope I can get hold of one.
To celebrate the reissue of one of the most groundbreaking and best americana albums of the past decade, here’s a 2019 clip of Murry and his band performing ‘Southern Sky’ from the record, at the Static Roots Festival, in Oberhausen, Germany.
One of my favourite songs on the album – brooding, yet soulful psych-rock – it’s also a highlight of Murry’s live performances, when he reinvents it as a dead heavy, raw, Neil Young-style epic. Listen to that howling electric guitar. Marvellous.