Earliest Buckley Recordings Due - Rolling Stone
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Earliest Buckley Recordings Due

Album to feature demos and live recordings

Five years after the death of singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley, his
earliest recordings are finally being released. When a
twenty-four-year-old Buckley went into a New York studio with
guitarist Gary Lucas to demo “Grace” in 1991, he didn’t even have a
record label deal. That song would become the title track of the
only album Buckley released during his lifetime. But now his
initial sessions with Lucas, Songs to No One: 1991-1992,
are due out on the independent label Evolver Entertainment on
October 15th.

“He was the best collaborator I’ve ever had,” says Lucas, a
former Captain Beefheart sideman, who co-wrote “Grace” and “Mojo
Pin,” both on Buckley’s 1994 album Grace. Songs to No
‘s eleven tracks include live songs Buckley recorded with
Lucas’ music collective, Gods and Monsters, and demos.

At the height of Buckley’s career, in 1997, the thirty-year-old
singer drowned in the Wolf River in Memphis. The son of jazz-folk
singer Tim Buckley, who also died young, Jeff had met Lucas at a
tribute concert honoring his father.

“Jeff’s voice just soared angelically, but it also had this raw
rock intensity,” Lucas says of those first sessions. “I knew right
then that this stuff was going to shake the world. I felt like I
had dynamite in my pocket.”

After sitting on the demos for a decade, Lucas finally got the
OK from Buckley’s mother, Mary Guibert, to put them out. “I just
wanted to take everything in sequence,” says Guibert, who oversaw
the release of Buckley’s two posthumous albums on Sony. “I’ll have
to admit, in all honesty, that Jeff put a handwritten title over
the top of the [Gods and Monsters] tape that said ‘Disgusto
Garbage.’ For some reason he heard it later on and said, ‘Oh, I
wish I’d never done that.'”

Buckley, whose dramatic style has influenced the songs of
artists such as Rufus Wainwright and Travis, was a prolific writer,
says Lucas: “I have about eight hours of material. Hopefully there
will be other CDs to come.”


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