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Damien Jurado at New Brookland Tavern August 25, 2009

mewithoutYou (Weis Family)
Damien Jurado
PSalters
Josh Moore

By Todd Mathis

I stumbled across Damien Jurado on a mix CD a friend gave me a few years back.  I’m going to say it was 2003 because it was a mix of newer music and Jurado’s Where Shall You Take Me? was released that year.  My friend wasn’t a huge fan, but her husband was, and knowing my musical tastes, she thought I would like him too.  She was right.  After hearing the tracks she had put on the CD I immediately went shopping.  I was lucky enough to find a couple of his earlier releases, Ghost of David and I Break Chairs at Acme Comics (Now located on State Street next to the Tavern…and they don’t sell music anymore.) and after digging into these releases, I was definitely hooked.

Jurado’s music mostly focuses on the dark side of life.  On tunes such as “Medication” (from Ghost of David) or “Sucker” (from 2005’s On My Way to Absence) Jurado transports the listener into the underbelly of middle America.  It’s a dusty, harsh, fucked up world where religion, death, heartbreak, and loss abound.  There is still a shimmer of hope, but it may come at someone else’s expense.  His releases tend to go back and forth between low-key/lo-fi folk and full-on band recordings with each having their own merits.

Jurado is touring in support of his latest release, 2008’s Caught In The Trees. He is on the Secretly Canadian label, which also includes Swearing At Motorists, Magnolia Electric Company and others.  He’ll stop in Columbia on Tuesday, August 25th at NBT.