Jon Dee Graham

Jon Dee Graham
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Jon Dee Graham - Songwriter of large repute. Gruff voiced. Intense guitar player likely to include bone crushing rock and delicate ballads all in the same set, just 'cos that's the kind of guy he is. An unimpeachable musician. Team player. Much finesse. Even more heart. 1959 - Born in Quemado, Texas, on the Rio Grande River - population 320. 1970 - Started playing piano in church. Grew up listening to pirate Mexican radio stations playing border music and pop hits. Caught a station out of San Antonio that played hard rock and some early punk rock. 1973 - Joined his first group, a country band. Originally played bass but soon realized that guitar was where his heart was. 1977 - Moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas. Formed The Skunks, which evolved into Texas's premiere underground punk band. Quit school. Hit the road. Opened for the likes of The Ramones, The Clash and John Cale. 1980 - Left The Skunks in a huff. 1984 - Had begun writing lots of songs. Joined the nine-month old True Believers (which included Alejandro Escovedo), a punk-ish roots band that helped pave the way for what's now called alt-country. Much touring. A major label deal ensued. A record was made with Jim Dickinson producing. Major label deal fell through. Band broke up in 1987. Material posthumously released. 1987 - Moved to Los Angeles. Fell in with Ryan Hedgecock of Lone Justice, Michelle Shocked, John Doe and Exene Cervenka. Joined the John Doe band. Toured heavily. Continued writing original material. 1994 - Headed overseas and made his way as a traveling troubadour. Backed up Calvin Russell on dates throughout Europe. 1995 - Moved back to Austin. Hooked up with Kelly Willis and toured all over creation. Meanwhile, his songs were really piling up. 1996 - Decided it was time to make a Jon Dee Graham record. Enlisted super pal Mike Hardwick (Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jerry Jeff Walker, Gene Clark). Mike became Jon Dee's sidekick - the sonic conscience and permanent 2nd guitar. 1997 - Escape From Monster Island, the first album under Jon Dee's own name, was released on Austin's Freedom Records. "A bare-knuckled, bone-chilling solo debut," said The Dallas Morning News. Rafael Gayol (formerly of The Bodeans) made his drumming debut with Jon Dee on the album, joining full time the following year. More roadwork. A Wednesday night residency began at Austin's Continental Club (and continues to this day). 1999 - Summerland was released, Jon Dee's first for New West Records. "A rousing 12-song collection of passionate rock & roll that looks a dangerous world square in the face yet still finds reasons to believe," said Much live work, though family keeps Jon Dee fairly close to home. Mark Andes joins the band as bass guitar man. Mark has a storied past as member of Canned Heat, Spirit and Heart. 2000 - Jon Dee is named songwriter of the year at The Austin Music Awards at SXSW. 2001- July/August - Records hooray for the moon at Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, CA. The album is a blend of screaming loud and beautifully introspective songs, also featuring the Mexican perennial and crowd favorite "Volver." Producer is the mighty Don Smith (The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, among many others). In addition to the usual suspects - Jon Dee, Mike Hardwick and Mark Andes (and due to the fact that Rafael was out with The Flatlanders) - the legendary Jim Keltner sits in on drums. He astonishes everyone, not only with his percussive abilities, but also with what a cool guy he is. Other special guests on the album include Mike Campbell (of The Heartbreakers), Davey Faragher (Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker, John Hiatt) and Austin Tejano favorite Little Joe.
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03/09/2010 - SXSW 2010: Jon Dee Graham - Read More
07/28/2008 - Jon Dee Graham injured in car accident - Read More
05/20/2008 - Getting swept away with Jon Dee Graham - Read More
05/16/2008 - Music DVD Review: Jon Dee Graham - Swept Away - Read More
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 14

Jon Dee Graham  02/04/2004            
I'm not sure what stringy was listening to. From start to finish this albumn showcases brilliant songwriting coupled with great arrangments. Lyrically strong and well suited for Jon's voice. They are songs from a man who has seen much darkness but holds out hope. From soft and tender to flat out rockin. If you ever get a chance - wed nite, continental club, austin tx
Jon Dee Graham  12/25/2003            
Calvin Broaddus
Probably the best guitar player in Texas right now. Amazing live shows--like going to church. This record is really good, but nothing can touch the majesty of seeing Jon Dee and his band the Adversaries when they are on.
Jon Dee Graham  04/10/2002            
Jim Allen
Hooray for the Moon. I wasn't familar with his music, but was familar with his name from regular trips to Austin. I am still adjusting to his sound but he is really growing on me. One song in particular "Way Down in the Hole" is outstanding. Unique voice and lyrics, great Blues, Rock, Tex-Mex sound.
Jon Dee Graham  01/14/2002            
Wow, you'd think Jim Keltner on drums would be a good thing. He phoned this one in. JDG would've been much better off with more of a rock drummer imho. And then there's the mix-80's drum sound, am radio upper midrange emphasis. Ouch! Then there's the songs- some of these are stellar and chilling which makes the other liabilities all the more unsettling. I hope it accomplishes something for him. Maybe AAA radio will like it. If not I'd say it has few other merits, sadly.
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