Jon Dee Graham

Hooray for the Moon

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Hooray for the Moon Review

by Zac Johnson

Austin-based roots rock singer/songwriter Jon Dee Graham continues his explorations of gritty Southwestern characters and love long gone on his album Hooray for the Moon. Assisted by guitarist Mike Hardwick, bassist Mark Andes, and legendary drummer Jim Keltner, Graham's throaty growl effectively recounts dark stories of busted desperadoes almost like a Texan Tom Waits. The similarity is most evident on Waits' "Way Down in the Hole," but carries through the disturbing "Laredo (Small Dark Something)" and the sweetly eerie "Restraining Order Song." The whole album isn't all creepy, as the stumbling Mexican love song "Volver" demonstrates, and the album's closer, "Tamale House #1," recounts an optimistic trip to a breakfast diner. Guests on the album include Mike Campbell (of the Heartbreakers), Davey Faragher (Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker, John Hiatt), and Austin Tejano favorite Little Joe, making for a full, well-rounded sound and carrying Graham's message well.

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