Turn Me On: Grayson Capps

Jackson TruaxCategories:Latest NewsTurn Me On

Rock Cellar Magazine

The music of singer-songwriter Grayson Capps has been described as “Southern Gothic,” “Roots Rock,” and “Tennessee Williams-meets-Charles Bukowski.” Grayson’s latest release, South Front Street: A Retrospective 1997-2019 (click here to buy on LP, click here to buy on CD), serves as a wonderful introduction for new fans as well as a satisfying celebration for longtime devotees. The collection brings together the best of Grayson’s solo career, as well as songs from his band Stavin’ Chain, newly remixed by his wife, four-time-Grammy-winning producer and engineer Trina Shoemaker.


After Trina saw Grayson perform at El Matador in New Orleans in 2003, the two began a romantic relationship that led to the couple collaborating on Grayson’s outstanding solo albums. Trina has a prolific history of helping artists craft distinct and memorable records, including Sheryl Crow’s The Globe Sessions, for which she became the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album. Grayson and Trina recently spoke to Rock Cellar about revisiting the songs that make up South Front Street: A Retrospective 1997-2019.

“I was in Austin, Texas with our son for a summer camp,” Trina recalled of how the new retrospective came to fruition. “I was sitting around an Airbnb, bored. I just decided to make myself a playlist of my favorite Grayson songs ever. And that’s the record. I had to go in and remix much of it, in order to make it a cohesive, congruent body of work that’s its own story.”

Grayson and Trina’s shared story told through the songs on South Front Street includes getting married, having a son, and fleeing New Orleans for Nashville in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, before ultimately settling in Fairhope, Alabama. “I think what this album represents is a segue, or a formalization, of bringing the past up to the present,” Grayson mused. “It’s a wonderful collection, and a statement that brings cohesion to our journey through time and space together.”

While Trina says all sixteen songs were “gussied up, in a mastering sense,” the amount of remixing work done on individual songs varied. “‘Psychic Channel Blues’ is completely different,” Trina recalled. “I’m really proud of ‘Psychic Channel Blues,’ because I never liked the drums on that, even after we cut it. I could never get it right in any kind of editing or mixing. But now I did. So I love the way ‘Psychic Channel Blues’ came out.”

“May We Love” and “Arrowhead” are two of Grayson’s most resonant and effective songs, completely remixed here from their previously released versions. On presenting beloved material anew, Trina revealed, “I had an opportunity to go back and redo some of my favorite songs, the way that they ought to sound. Because I had hindsight, where I thought ‘You know, that is wrong.’ And I’m the master. So I can go back and remix them and re-edit them.”

Grayson was so elated with Trina’s new mixes that he wanted to enhance the audio and tactile experience of listening to them by releasing the retrospective on LP as a high-quality double album. “This is the first record I’ve done that sounds great on vinyl,” Grayson shared. “It’s a wonderful, old school journey. You sit back. Pull out the album. Each side of the record has a different picture on it. You can look at the artwork. It’s big. You can put the needle down. Sit back and go on a journey. I think that’s what pretty special about this.”

In lieu of promoting the release with a traditional concert tour, Grayson has been streaming shows on his Facebook and Instagram accounts @Graysoncapps, along with building his audience on Patreon. “I’ve played every album I’ve done, acoustically, and gone through and told stories about the songs,” Grayson said of his Patreon offerings. “If they want a story behind the records, every record I’ve ever done is on there, acoustically. It reveals my songwriting process a little bit. I posted a new song. I plan on doing a lot more posting on it.”

Looking into a future where live music remains uncertain, Grayson offered, “I am writing and working on new stuff. So the next thing I do will be an all original record of new songs. That’s why doing this retrospective has a larger point for me, a transition from one period to the next. I feel like I’m transitioning. Plus, with the pandemic and everything that’s going on in the world, there’s a major shift. I’m majorly shifting myself. Everybody’s going through intense change. And artists as well. We will reflect that change in our works. And that’s what I’m working on now, how to navigate this new world.”

To turn yourself on to Grayson Capps, visit GraysonCapps.com for tour dates, videos, merch and more and https://www.patreon.com/graysoncapps to join Grayson’s growing community of patrons. Follow Grayson Capps at https://www.facebook.com/graysoncapps/ and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/graysoncapps.


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