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A true wordsmith, Grizzard has largely eschewed the current state of popular songwriting. Bits of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits emerge at times, as he weaves together his unique brand of storytelling with melodies and influences of days gone by. But through it all, the pain, urgency and passion of his music is unmistakable and timeless.
Following much critical acclaim, a successful tour and door-opening responses to his 2011 debut album, A Crack in the Door, Grizzard crafted more than 30 songs for the new release on Back Porch Syndicate Records. The resulting 12-song release, Learning How To Lie, picks up boldly where the artist left off, bringing together myriad influences into a spellbinding project that is already turning heads (and ears).
“Brilliant new CD by Jefferson Grizzard. Thunder and lightning in letters from the underground.
Strangers and outcasts learning how to lie in the search for truth and salvation.
Tom Waits meets the Stones at the Heartbreak Hotel. Great album.”
- Willie Nile
Recorded at famed Ocean Way Studios on Music Row in Nashville, Tenn., an impressive array of collaborators were assembled to be a part of the project. Award-winning arranger Jerry Yester (Tom Waits, Tim Buckley, The Association) contributes his signature string and horn stylings to several of the tracks. Nashville’s legendary McCrarys (Bob Dylan, Michael McDonald, Eric Church, Mike Farris) grace the recording with their distinctive background vocals. And rock veteran Jimmy Hall (Jeff Beck, Wet Willie, Hank Williams, Jr.) makes an appearance on “In the Fall” with his harmonica.
While on tour in 2012, Grizzard met '70's rock icon Willie Nile at a performance in Buffalo, N.Y. The two hit it off and decided to get together and write some songs. One of the tunes from this first writing session, "When Levon Sings,” became the bonus track on the new album, with Grizzard and Nile sharing vocal duties on the recording.
Criss-crossing the U.S. for much of the last year, including acclaimed shows at New York’s lauded Bitter End, Grizzard’s riveting live performances continue to earn him glowing reviews and devoted new converts. He will take his music to international audiences in November and December, 2013, supporting Willie Nile for a whirlwind 14-city European tour, with stops in Ireland, the UK and Germany.
From Rome, Georgia, Jefferson Grizzard began playing the guitar and writing songs at the age of thirteen. Mining his father’s album collection, he grew up on the music of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Donovan, Kris Kristofferson, and The Band, while continuing to hone his own style.
By the age of 18 Grizzard had written more than 100 songs and, while attending St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, he began to perform his music in local clubs. Returning to Georgia, Grizzard met up with producer Ben McRee, who produced A Crack in the Door and the new album, Learning How To Lie.