UNTIL THE DAY
Gorgeous, Heartfelt Everyman Songs for Every Man and Woman.
As RMHQ is a ‘vanity project’ for me, I love receiving albums and gig invites from Musical Household Names; but first and foremost I still love the thrill of discovering a brand new artist and screaming their name from the Internet Rooftop.
Such is the case with Graham Stone from Richmond Virginia who first got in touch earlier in 2017 when he planned to release a 5 track EP which never materialised; instead Graham managed to finance the recording of this full size album of 10 songs…..and it has turned my head 360 degrees, upside down and inside out!
The gritty intro to Canyonlands which starts the album piqued my interest; and when Graham’s ‘worn leather’ and world weary voice oozed from the speakers; I instinctively leaned over and turned the volume up to get the best benefits from this delicious slice of Americana Pie.
Even today, a full week after first listening to UNTIL THE DAY I still can’t think of anyone else that Stone’s distinctive voice actually sounds like……and that’s a positive around these here parts.
His songwriting is flawless with the title track Until The Day and the brooding Flowers in Montana being both being highly articulate yet easily accessible too.
Stone’s eye for detail comes to the fore in that latter song as well as the Cowboy song, Free and Homeward which could have been schmaltzy in lesser hands; becomes a wonderful tragic Country song in the hands of Graham Stone and band.
While most songs here are beautifully intense ballads, Stone threatens to ‘rock out’ in true Alt. Country style a couple of times; but always pulls back from the brink until On The Run which closes the disc……and in true Tom Petty or Eagles style he lulls you in with a stark and almost Gothic melody then……WHAM! The band let loose and I accidentally found myself punching the air the first time I heard the chorus!!!
Aha…..you say; but what is your ‘favourite song’? Well; dear reader it’s a tie between two songs which follow each other and sort of blend one into the other. Oddly enough they are both about very strong women in the songwriter’s life; but two very different characters. Strong Constitution is about a woman from, ‘old Caroline’ with a “Strong Constitution and steel in her spine/with a spirit more precious than jewels/she won’t take shit from a fool.” At times Stone’s description of this beautiful woman; his sister echoed my memories of my own Mother; as it probably will you with yours.
The other is a more up-tempo and rockier song, full of fuzzy guitars and punchy bass n drums; Kathleen Jean (from Virginny-i-a!).
Another exceptionally descriptive story of a woman once married to a ‘black haired guitar man’ who ‘left her with seven kids’. Stone’s Mother; for it is she sounds quite a gal….and a woman I’d loved to have met.
These two songs; and the rest of the album sound a bit like The Eagles or such singing a Tom Russell or Slaid Cleaves song……..possibly……I think.
Please, please, please buy this album…….it deserves a huge audience and Graham Stone deserves to bring this gorgeous and eloquent Alt. Country Music to the world at large!
Released July 28th 2017