Grayson Capps' fifth studio album, The Lost Cause Minstrels, finds the Mobile, Alabama-based singer-songwriter coming of age. That doesn't mean his oft-unholy tales of the Southern Gothic have lost any of their sting. Quite the contrary, Capps' Tao-tinged philosophical musings wrapped inside songs shuddering with spit, stomp and snarl are as potent as ever. Look no further than 'Highway 42,' 'No Definitions' and 'Rock N Roll' to hear that Capps cedes no quarter. It's just that this time his bark and bite is more accepting of the unanswered questions mucking up the universe. Occasionally, even a celebratory mood prevails like the horn-fueled romp 'Ol' Slac,' an ode to the rebirth of the Mobile, Alabama Mardi Gras, or 'Coconut Moonshine,' a character sketch based on Mr. Jim who inhabits the hallowed roadside barbecue joint in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Two rare but classic American roots' numbers are born again here, as well: Taj Mahal's country-blues paen 'Annie's Lover' and Richard Rabbit Brown's jaunty 'Jane's Alley Blues,' (the original recording preserved on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music).
Capps' real life situation has evolved since his previous release Rott 'n' Roll, and it's reflected in the album's spirit. In 2010, he dissolved his band the Stumpknockers, re-assembling a new cast of musicians, fittingly dubbed the Lost Cause Minstrels. The line-up features a who's who of the finest players on the Gulf Coast music scene and their musical breadth makes an immediate impact. Capps also moved back to Alabama where he was born and raised in the midst of recording the album. He'd relocated to Nashville in 2007 after being driven from his New Orleans' home following Hurricane Katrina. He co-produced the effort with revered engineer/producer Trina Shoemaker (Queens of the Stone Age, Dylan Leblanc, Sheryl Crow). All of these factors coalesce into a collection of songs timeless in their pursuit of truth yet well aware of how hard the truth is to find in these times.
The Lost Cause Minstrels is the highly anticipated next chapter from one of the finest Southern troubadours of the day.