The Roadside Graves – My Son’s Home [Album Review]

by Woody on June 5, 2009

Roadside Graves

The Roadside Graves, a criminally overlooked New Jersey band, is back with a massively ambitious release. After 2007’s No One Will Know Where You Have Been, the boys have landed on Autumn Tone Records which is also home to J. Tillman and The Henry Clay People. My Son’s Home is 18 tunes strong and, while that usually is a signal that a band needs to trim some fat, this album is brimming with alt-country genius from beginning to end.

Each song is unique in sound with exceptional lyrics that strike you between the eyes. For those unfamiliar with them, I would liken their sound to a blend of Felice Brothers, Trainwreck Riders, Son Volt and The Band with a sprinkling of Gaelic influence in the vein of The Waterboys. The band is fronted by John Gleason and his voice and songwriting will have you believing the man has lived a number of lives.

In a day, where America spends countless time voting on their next plastic wannabe superstar, our time would be well-spent listening to bands like The Roadside Graves who fill their songs with emotion, heart and soul. Oz and I both have the same favorite track, “Ruby.” This is one of the tunes that has that loose, ramshackle Felice Brothers sound as it tells the story of a man back from war and his love, Ruby. Gleason and Jeremy alternate singing verses towards the end of the tune and the interplay is extraordinary.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the title track, “My Son’s Home.” Gleason pours every ounce of his soul into the tune with the barest of instrumentation and backing vocals. It’s absolutely mesmerizing and hasn’t lost an ounce of its impact despite numerous listens.

I could rattle off amazing tune after amazing tune which would make this review about 2,000 words long but instead I will just urge you to purchase this brilliant album. The boys will be doing a tour later this summer and will be making their way through Chicago, hopefully with a stop in Shirk’s studio for a session.

Website | MySpace

The Roadside Graves – Far and Wide

Update: After reading that we loved “Ruby,” we were given permission to also post that mp3.

The Roadside Graves – Ruby

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott June 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm

wow – sound like the felice brothers. great stuff though

Todd June 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm

when comin’ through chicago? are they opening for lucero at the subterranean? great, great album.

oz June 8, 2009 at 9:13 pm

They’ll be in Chicago on either August 25 or 26. I think they are planning to play at Schubas, but not quite sure yet. Will be sure to keep you posted.

Todd June 9, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Thanks, Oz…will be a great debut for them here in Chicago.

Bill Frisbee August 28, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Have been following the graves for years. Love the hell out of the Lyrics like Women in Black and West Coast.
I was able to catch the show in Madison Wi. and meet the guys.
After the live show I love them even more. The Roadside Graves will make it happen where ever they go. Like Greatful Dead Music that sounds good when you are not stoned.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: