Grant Peeples — Real Country — A Guest Blog by Bentz Kirby

Grant Peeples

“Well the trailer smells like cat piss.”

As I prepare to write this blog about the upcoming Grant Peeples Alien Carnival House Concert at my house on June 13, I realize that I have become an evangelist for Grant Peeples.  I hope this blog can explain why.

Earlier this year I had never heard of Grant. Right before I went to Thomasville, GA for the funeral of a close friend, I found someone on Facebook who lived there and was sponsoring an amazing house concert featuring Sam Baker and Gurf Morlix with Grant Peeples opening. I had seen Sam Baker and heard of Gurf Morlix, but not Grant. Out of curiosity, I contacted Donna Mavity, the woman bringing this amazing music to the small town. She invited us to drop by, so May and I went to visit her.  She gifted us with three CDs recorded by Grant. Since my iPod was broken, I put them all three in the cd changer for the return trip to Columbia.

Now at first I was not sure what to think about Grant. His vocal phrasing and rhythm is not what one would call conventional.  I remarked to May that I was not sure how people sang with him, although they seemed to do just fine.  Long pauses at unusual times, words seemed almost out of place, and a rough and gravely voice which drove the words home.  Drove them home hard.

As has often been my experience, you have to keep listening to something until you “get” it, especially if it is not like anything you have heard before.  He started to get my attention when he opened a song with the lyrics, “Leaving her was easy, once she done throwed all my shit out in the yard.”  Alright Grant, you got my attention.  And I identified with him even more when he said, “I know why the poets drink and smoke, shoot dope and die young.  At least poets used to. Nowadays you can’t count on poets much.”   That struck a nerve with me for sure.  I mean he was putting it out there,. For example --“I don’t think much of you poets these days.”  Then, the next song came on, Real Country with its opening lyrics, “Well the trailer smells like cat piss.”  Now that sounded like real country to me.

So, on the car ride I became a convert and a lover of Grant Peeples’ songs because they are real, they are gritty and they are as honest as any music I have ever heard.  The phrasing and rhythm to his songs at first threw me off.  Then I realized it was the rhythm and phrasing of his soul.

Fortunately, I got to see him perform at Springfest in March of 2012.  (Met him at the urinal in the bath house that morning.  Can you say “Awkward!”)  Seeing him play his songs live and in person was another revelation. Grant Peeples puts all of himself into the presentation of his children, the songs.  It is personal. It is down to the bone.  It is, to borrow from myself, Real Music.

Which leads me back to my duty as an evangelist – to get the good news out to Columbia.  I hope to convince Columbia’s songwriters and lovers of good music that if you are not present at this concert, you are going to miss an opportunity which you will regret.  It is not my nature to tell another songwriter she needs to listen to someone or hear a particular artist, but in this instance I am telling you.  Be here on Wednesday, June 13.

 Grant Peeples has released five albums since 2007.  His biography on his web site tells the story of his journey and it is an interesting journey which includes ten years of not writing a song.  His albums are:

  • 2007    Down Here in the County
  • 2008    It’s Later Than You Think
  • 2009    Pawnshop
  • 2011    Okra and Ecclesiastes
  • 2012    Prior Convictions

The songs on these albums cover a lot of ground.  They describe very well a liberal and free thinker’s life in a conservative South and in the uncertain times post 9/11.  These songs also tell the stories of those people who live in the rural areas of the Florida panhandle.  He reflects a slice of this life very accurately, right down to the smell of the cat piss.

So, what am I preaching about is just a simple house concert.  However, if you fail to attend, you will regret it.  Maybe not today, but soon. Very soon.  Cause Grant Peeples is real and so much more than just country.  He is a shining hope for the possibility of the future of our country expressed through honest music.  As Grant says, “My people come from the dirt … Okra and Ecclesiastes.”

 

http://www.grantpeeples.com/

Date: June 13, 2012

Time: 6:00 PM, music at 7:00 PM

Reservations are required.  For reservations call or email Bentz Kirby at:

803-413-5676

bocelts@yahoo.com

Suggested donation, $15 and 100% goes to Grant Peeples

About Jasper

What Jasper Said is the blogging arm of Jasper – The Word on Columbia Arts, a new written-word oriented arts magazine that serves artists and arts lovers in the Columbia, SC area and its environs in four ways: Via Print Media – Jasper is a bi-monthly magazine, releasing in print six times per year in September, November, January, March, May & July, on the 15th of each month. Jasper covers the latest in theatre and dance, visual arts, literary arts, music, and film as well as arts events and happenings; Via Website – Jasper is an interactive website complete with a visual arts gallery, messages from Jasper, an arts events calendar that is updated several times daily, bite-sized stories on arts events, guest editorials, local music, dance & theatre videos, community surveys, and more; Via Blog – What Jasper Said -- you're reading this now -- is a daily blog featuring a rotating schedule of bloggers from the Jasper staff as well as guest bloggers from throughout the arts community; Via Twitter – Jasper Advises is a method of updating the arts community on arts events, as they happen, with more than a half dozen active tweeters who live, work, and play inside the arts community everyday ~ Jasper Advises keeps the arts community abreast of what not to miss, what is happening when it is happening, and where to be to experience it first hand.
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