Saturday, June 03, 2006

FDF Volume 1 Issue 14:- Jeff Buckley - Live at Sin-é



Album - Live at Sin-e
Artist - Jeff Buckley
Key Player - Jeff Buckley
Produced by - Steven Berkowitz, Jeff Buckley
Released - August 1993


*the image used is for the expanded version. I am speaking of the original release in this post. I just needed a good sized image.

Overview - Born Jeffery Scott Buckley and raised as Scottie Jeffrey Moorhead in Anaheim, California Jeff was the only son of Mary Guibert and folk icon Tim Buckley. At the age of 8 he chose to go by his birth name after meeting his father for the first (and only) time. At 18 Jeff went to the Musicans Institute in LA for 2 years. During that time he played in many bands including the reggae band Shinehead and he was in other bands where he was just the "guitar" player. Jeff moved to New York in 1990 and performed for the first time as a singer at a tribute to his father in 1991. Jeff did two songs and left the audience stunned. His only comment was that he was unable to attend his fathers funeral (Tim died in 1975) and those songs was how he chose to pay his final respects. As he then worked on a major label release (which would be Grace) he played often at a small coffee house in his neighborhood called Sin-e, Sin-e (pronounced "shin-ay) is Gaelic for " That's it". An ep of some of those evenings are on the ep released in 1993. Grace was released in 1994 to somewhat lackluster sales but massive press and adoration from other musicians. Jeff who had a distinct voice as well as a 3.5 octive range the press considered him one of the most promising artists. Jeff toured and toured to support Grace. Sadly on May 29th, 1997 Jeff drowned in Wolf River in Memphis. The band was in town working on a new record called My Sweet Heart the Drunk when Jeff went for an early evening swim. His body was found 5 days later. There was speculation it was suicide as Jeff went swimming with his boots on, and a day earlier it was reported Jeff told loved ones he suffered from bipolar disorder. After his death a "demo version" of the lp he was working on was released.


FDF Comments (aka The Songs) - the ep is only 4 songs long, yet it was repackaged and exapnded 10 years after its release. After Jeff started to tour and gain some popularity he even posted on his web site how he missed being able to just walk in to a small room and do what he loved to do. This cd captures just a hint of what one may have seen or heard. Mojo Pin and Grace would both appear on the Grace album. Jeff introduces Mojo Pin as a song inspired by a dream. His raw vocals shine as he lets go of himself and take the vocal range up. The applause is pretty minimal, not sure if that was intended, or, if people there had no idea what they had seen or heard. Je N' en Connais Pas La Fin is a wonderfully haunting song, the simple guitar strum with his falsetto taking you to that small cafe in France. The Way Young Lovers Do is a Van Morrison penned number. Its the longest song on the ep and Jeff does about as rocking a solo as you'd ever hear in a coffeehouse setting. During the solo he also "scat sings" and really puts on an over the top, yet still comfortable, performance.

This probably is not a cd you'd ever put on to get a party started that is for sure, but after the masses have left and you are chilling with your partner and some close friends toss it on and be taken away

Where are they now - As noted Jeff passed away in May of 1997. Jeffs mom went out and met with fans to help promote the live cd/dvd for Live in Chicago. Also there is a documentary touring the USA called "Amazing Grace" that has gotten some favorable reviews. Check that out here.

FDF Personal Comments - I never saw Jeff live. Thankfully there is an amazing live concert cd (jeff said it was his finest show) and a live DVD simply called "Live in Chicago" that will just have to do.

FDF Overall Take - When you listen to this ep it was just a small window of what was to come, and now looking back you realize it just is not fair. Talented singer and guitarplayer with a very strong voice lost before he got even a hint of what was coming to him. In reading some reviews on the expanded version of this cd some noted that it may be a harder listen for the new fan, and to search out this shorter version. There is a pretty fine line in the sand regarding Jeff. Either the fans are ravenous or they just don't get it. That "split down the middle" can make for either a challenging, or rewarding listen. Luckly for me, its rewarding.

4 Comments:

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Rusty said...

It's always sad when promising performers are taken before their time. It really makes you wonder what could have been...

I'm intrigued by your music choices, March. I'll have to check some of these out.

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger emetic sage said...

i came across a tune via Pandora called "Dream Brother", which is a cover version of the buckley song by a band called "bitmap". i really like it. ever hear the original or the cover?

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Annoyed said...

Jeff was great... Well, could have been great.

He had his moments for sure.

However, I'll always feel as if he receives an incomplete grade.

The Brillance did shine through, time to time.

And his voice!!!

Let's just say, if there is a heaven, he's singing in the choir for sure

 
At 2:23 AM, Blogger The Guinness Tooth said...

The extended version is great, or at least parts of it are great. It is loaded with covers of songs by, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (some arab or indian dude, Jeff sings the song in the native tounge of the guy and has no idea what he's singing), Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison and others. His own songs are just as great, there are at least 6 or 7 songs on here that ended up on Grace. One of my favorite songs, and one not on the original, is a song titled "Be Your Husband." In the song Jeff sings, claps and stamps his foot, there is no guitar or other musical instrument. It really is an amazing way to start a live record. The down side to the extended version is the excessive inbetween song banter. Once or twice he even takes requests. The introductions to songs is good the first time you liste, but after that you really just want to hear the music. M2tS you should check it out, it's a great continuation to the original.

emetic sage: you really should check out Jeff's version of "dream brother" I believe it to be one of his best songs period.

 

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