New Roadside Graves – “Ruby”

Roadside Graves are a great band. Besides John Gleason’s intimate and idiosyncratic, landscape-sketching lyricism (as previously mentioned, like Matt Berninger drinking cheap beer instead of whiskey and Coke) and his unmistakable talk-sung vocal quaver, there’s the tight expansive, double-drumming, bowing, piano and guitar-driven sound of the band around him. It’s Americana of the most drunken, anthemic, and shamblingly tight sort. A good example is “Ruby,” a track from a new set of “demo” songs, which will eventually follow-up last year’s No One Will Know Where You’ve Been, once they find a new label. It was recorded in South Amboy, “between a bus depot and a strip club.” Pay attention to the shifts after the grandmother’s death scene.

Roadside Graves – “Ruby” (MP3)

“I remember the night your grandmother died / cigarette in her hand and book by her side / you and I on the couch just touching each other / We didn’t tell till the morning after.” When I spoke with Gleason about his job as a teacher I made the full disclosure that I’ve known the guys since my early days in NJ. After listening to that song it’s pretty clear, though, that Roadside would be worth your attention/ears, if I didn’t know them from Adam. You can hear more here and see them on tour:

07/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire
07/10 – Washington, DC @ The Velvet Lounge
07/11 – Carborro, NC @ The Cave
07/12 – Sylva, NC @ Guadalupe Cafe and Bar
07/13 – Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor
07/14 – Knoxville, TN @ The Birdhouse
07/16 – Memphis, TN @ P and H Cafe
07/17 – St. Louis, Missouri @ LEMP Center for the Performing Arts
07/19 – Longview, TX @ The West End
07/21 – Portsmouth, NH @ The Red Door
07/22 – Portland, ME @ Slainte
07/23 – Somerville, MA @ The Abbey Lounge
07/24 – Burlington, VT @ Skinny Pancake
07/26 – Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY @ The Trash Bar
08/13 – New Brunswick, NJ @ The Court Tavern
08/20 – New York, NY @ Lit Lounge
08/28 – Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission Summer Music Festival