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Jacob Graff & West by Southwest
If the truth can set us free, then consider this declaration of independence: West by Southwest, nineteen songs by Jacob Graff that shepherd us from the delicate roots of childhood, and pioneer us deep into an eternal wellspring of the soul. Each track is like a mile-marker from that journey, as Graff navigates us toward discovery of the divine by measuring wisdom, gauging love, and calculating truth. There are no stops— only scenic routes through the back-roads of past inspirations like James Taylor and Jimi Hendrix, and scheduled detours to contemporary influences like Sufjan Stevens.
A spiritual and musical metamorphosis brought Jacob Graff from the expansive salt flats of the Utah wilderness to the wet beaches of the Jersey shore, proclaiming a sermon on the stomp-box from the gospel of his guitar. West by Southwest is the debut full-length album by Graff, whose reputation as a singer/songwriter is spreading as if by manifest destiny. The dynamic contrast between his ethereal meditations (“My Home”) and funk-pop prayers (“Faith, Hope, Love”) confirm that Graff is continuing the timeless roles of maverick and messenger we last saw in John the Baptist and Paul Revere.
jonathan t marlowe