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Burying the Dead

Hoarse vocals delivering 12 mid-tempo or slow, contemplative songs with well-trodden folk-rock structures usually earn a quick "No" from this quarter. McGraw grapples with grand topics: the death of a loved one and/or the Meaning of Life (capitals intended: one envisions Bertie Wooster throwing-away "STERN stuff, Jeeves"). When McGraw waxes emphatic without engaging music, I'm checking my Facebook. The more laidback material is like a spontaneous diary: poetic imagery being croaked into a microphone + the bright percussion of banjo or finger-picked guitar gurgling like a brook.

Haunting enough to segue with Tom Waits is a cover of Leonard Cohen's "The Faith": "The cross on every hill/ A star, a minaret/ So many graves to fill/ Love, aren't you tired yet?" "Young Men" is the one I'm least likely to want to live without: it's the kind of nice that Gordon Lightfoot would probably have welcomed into his repertoire. But I doubt Lightfoot ever spouted a line this dazzling: "Wounds are like diamonds or demons at play." And McGraw does an ingenious reworking of Billy Joel's "My Life."

I guess we'll never hear McGraw covering "Take the Skinheads Bowling." Still, how many artists are willing to go into such deep territory, let alone set up a tent and camping stove?

  • Album: Burying the Dead (2010)
  • Artist: Richard McGraw
  • Label: Non-Utopian Records
  • Songs: (1) That Old Song (2) My Life (3) Hurting Heart (4) Balmville Motel (5) Your Lover (6) On Our Knees (7) Asheville (8) I'm Cool (9) The Faith (10) Young Men (11) Her Town (12) Grace
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Hoarse vocals delivering 12 mid-tempo or slow, contemplative songs with well-trodden folk-rock structures usually earn a quick "No" from this quarter. McGraw grapples with grand topics: the death of a loved one and/or the Meaning of Life (capitals intended: one envisions Bertie Wooster throwing-away "STERN stuff, Jeeves"). When McGraw waxes emphatic without engaging music, I'm checking my Facebook. The more laidback material is like a spontaneous diary: poetic imagery being croaked into a microphone + the bright percussion of banjo or finger-picked guitar gurgling like a brook.

Haunting enough to segue with Tom Waits is a cover of Leonard Cohen's "The Faith": "The cross on every hill/ A star, a minaret/ So many graves to fill/ Love, aren't you tired yet?" "Young Men" is the one I'm least likely to want to live without: it's the kind of nice that Gordon Lightfoot would probably have welcomed into his repertoire. But I doubt Lightfoot ever spouted a line this dazzling: "Wounds are like diamonds or demons at play." And McGraw does an ingenious reworking of Billy Joel's "My Life."

I guess we'll never hear McGraw covering "Take the Skinheads Bowling." Still, how many artists are willing to go into such deep territory, let alone set up a tent and camping stove?

  • Album: Burying the Dead (2010)
  • Artist: Richard McGraw
  • Label: Non-Utopian Records
  • Songs: (1) That Old Song (2) My Life (3) Hurting Heart (4) Balmville Motel (5) Your Lover (6) On Our Knees (7) Asheville (8) I'm Cool (9) The Faith (10) Young Men (11) Her Town (12) Grace
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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