Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Grays - 'The Companion' (acoustic and rare bootleg)

For a good portion of you surfing this blog on a regular (or even a less than regular) basis, The Grays will likely not require much introduction. For the rest of you, grab a quick earful of their one and only album, Ro Sham Bo from 1994 on Epic Records. Falling somewhere between a launching pad and a showcase for gifted singer-songwriters Jason Falkner (formally of Jellyfish and The Three O' Clock) and Jon Brion, The Grays were a four piece, filled out by bassist Buddy Judge and skins-man Dan McCarroll, who after their demise in 1995 were regarded as something of a cult legend in power-pop circles. Ironically, the Grays' "power" quotient didn't quite pack the thrust of say, contemporaries The Posies, or old schoolers like The Records. Ro Sham Bo, possessed a clutch of sublime moments, namely "Very Best Years," "Friend of Mine," and "The Same Thing," among a handful of other keepers. Although many might take umbrage with me on this, the record wasn't a wall-to-wall goldmine, however the solo albums recorded by Falkner (Author Unknown & Can You Still Feel) and Brion (Meaningless) after the band's dissolution were in my opinion far more consistent, and fully delivered on the promise of The Gray's short-lived collaboration.

The ten-song 'Companion' bootleg as it is called, was not assembled by yours truly, but rather derived from a file sharing site, which was probably originally propagated on a torrent, or whatever those dang things are called. It not only contains acoustic versions of some of Ro Sham Bo's finer moments, but several covers and unreleased studio booty. FYI, Some tracks originally appeared on official Epic label promo CD singles. Essentially all the stray Grays studio material left on the cutting room floor. The audio quality is consistent, and was ripped at variable 200-something kbps. Enjoy (or not).

01. Compilcated (Rolling Stones)
02. He's Frank (The Monochrome Set)
03. Blessed
04. Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell)
05. Oh Nevermind
06. Outdoor Miner (Wire)
07. Very Best Years (acoustic)
08. Same Thing (acoustic)
09. Nothing (acoustic)
10. Both Belong (acoustic)


jay strange said...

blessed is a simon and garfunkel cover...oh nevermind was originally by the buddy judge system....
i stand in the ro sham bo is a masterpiece field.....

Haper said...

I'm with Jay. Ro Sham Bo is a masterpiece IMHO.

I've added you as a link on my blog

Check out the Jason Falkner solo show and let me know what you think.

Love this blog!

Fuzz said...

I actually heard The Grays/Falkner on the "radio". ASAP paid full retail. Fine investment. Proceeded to buy all of Jason's solo efforts as offered. WOW! I didn't even hear of Jellyfish until 2007 on a search for Falkner. Roger is quite a tunesmith also. Jon has 9 cuts on my Power Pop playlist. It's all good. Thank you W O

David Ohlerking II said...

anybody on here know who did the painting for the Ro Sham Bo cover?