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Music: If You Knew My Mind – Grayson Capps

Michael Buffalo Smith

Michael Buffalo Smith

Buffalo hails from Spartanburg, SC. Officially the "Ambassador of Southern Rock," he has written for many publications including Rolling Stone, Relix, Goldmine and his own Kudzoo Magazine. He is also a recording artist and author of six books, the latest being "Rebel Yell: An Oral History of Southern Rock."
Michael Buffalo Smith

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if you knew my mind album

Ten years after the release of this excellent album, it sounds as fresh as ever, especially on this double-album 10th Anniversary vinyl issue. I do love the convenience of MP3 and CD’s, but for the warmth of the music, I prefer uncompressed, analog sounds on vinyl. It’s like tube amps vs. solid state – there’s no comparison.

The New Orleans based Capps is a songwriters-songwriter, a man who can tell a story or spin a tale about a character in four minutes that you will never forget. The set includes three previously unreleased bonus tracks, including Grayson’s stunning version of the roots standard “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning.” It also includes an essay written by Grayson addressing the period in his life when he recorded the album. The original album was produced by Grammy Award-winning engineer Trina Shoemaker (Brandi Carlile, Indigo Girls), and she returned to the board to oversee the re-mastering process for the album’s first ever release on vinyl.

Grayson Capps

Grayson Capps

Initially issued in conjunction with the major motion picture A Love Song For Bobby Long starring Scarlett Johansson and John Travolta, the album features a song of the same title which was actually the basis for the title of the film. The movie was adapted from the novel Off Magazine Street, written by Grayson’s father Everett Capps.

Of course my personal favorite on the record is “Love Song for Bobby Long,” but there are a great many goodies on the record, including “If You Knew My Mind,” a nice song about the birth of his daughter and “Get Back Up,” which talks about living in an abandoned house on the outskirts of New Orleans are both excellent. So is “Slidell,” an story song on par with the best writings of John Prine, Tom Waits or Bruce Springsteen. Grayson’s songwriting is inspired by the American southern literary tradition, and he often writes about the South and its lifestyle and people. While it is true that one can hear a wide array of influences in the music of Grayson Capps, he remains a one of a kind writer and performer. Since this album first dropped ten years ago, Capps has come to be known as one of the South’s finest and most creative and compelling songwriters and entertainers.