Grayson Capps is a natural. The country-tinged tales on his national debut If You Knew My Mind are sung by a young man who’s seen more hardships than his age would indicate. When Capps sings “They’re trying to drag me down / I’m going to get back up again” on the opening track, it’s not an anthem but a weary man dusting himself off and climbing to his feet. Disaster is always around the corner in Capps’ world. On “Slidell,” Capps recounts a wreck where “five people were murdered by a woman talking on her cell phone.” Capps’s doesn’t create an overwrought, gothic South, just the average tragedies that happen when people are drunk and careless.
Capps ranges easily from folk to bluesy rock. On the haunting “A Love Song for BobbyLong” he accompanies himself simply on acoustic guitar. The menacing “Graveyard,” about a man killing his lover, has a rollicking band and a growling chorus of male singers.
Capps performs regularly at bars around New Orleans. When John Travolta starred in “A Love Song for Bobby Long,” based on a novel by Capps’ father, it looked like the songwriter’s work on the soundtrack would make him a star. The movie, however, was never shown in more than a handful of theaters. If You Knew My Mind will hopefully be Capps’ well-deserved ticket to a wider audience.
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