Roadside Graves release My Son’s Home on Autumn Tone Records
My Son’s Home
(Autumn Tone Records)
June 09, 2009
My Son's Home s our third full-length record. It was conceived of as an album about soldiers and their complicated struggles to forge identities and relationships in times of war. The idea was inspired by the Bobby Bond song “Six White Horses” and a short John Steinbeck novel entitled The Moon is Down (which we recently learned was also the basis for the film Red Dawn). Other subjects emerged during the writing sessions, and the record slowly evolved into an eighteen-song cycle about the lives of individuals, families, and friends in a variety of familiar settings: the homestead, the battlefield, the country and the city.
The album is populated by familiar faces from American folk and rock songs, ranging from the back-story told in our “Ruby” of the embittered Korean War vet who vows to shoot his wife in Mel Tillis’s “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”, to the Aesop-like fable of “The Snake and How It Lost It’s Legs”, in which Dear Henry and Dear Liza from the children’s folk song “There’s a Hole in the Bucket” are responsible for the snake’s brutal dismemberment.
There are cops and spiders lurking in the cigarette trees from “The Big Rock Candy Mountain”, and Johnny B. Goode faces a flurry of nightsticks, bringing him back down to his knees.
We found ourselves increasingly influenced by David Milch’s television series Deadwood. Milch's characters are dynamic, in perpetual interaction with one another and the values that shape their community. We wanted our songs to speak to the conflicts- tragic, humorous, absurd- that arise in an individual as one attempts to eke out an authentic existence in the face of the challenges that characterize social life. The songs celebrate and eulogize this process and the costs it exacts on the souls of the characters. They are songs about birth and death , and everything in between.
The basic track recording and mixing took place at Hypersnakes in Sayreville, New Jersey- a modern recording studio sandwiched between a bus depot and a rundown strip club. Listen closely and you might hear our neighbors Biohazard tuning up on the quieter songs. Listen even closer and you might discover the sounds of a gospel group that was warming up on stage while we recorded on the half-broken Steinway piano in the lobby of The State Theater in New Brunswick.
Many of the other tracks were recorded at dawn in attics and basements throughout New Jersey, in towns like Collingswood, Metuchen, Edison, and Pt. Pleasant.
The players were the Roadside Graves- John, Colin, Rich, Mike, Jeremy, and Dave, along with special guests like Fun Machine’s virtuoso keyboardist Johnny Piatkowski on the farfisa and mellotron.
The sound is that of the teetering ramshackle wall of sound, the sparse and tenderly haunted fingerpicked ballad, Irish table chantey, the harmonium soaked funeral march, dark rumbling surf-folk, the ocean floor.
Our goal was to create music for people who love music, in all its many facets and faces.
My Son’s Home traverses a wide landscape of topics and sounds, and it is our hope that it will prove as good of company to our listeners in their lives as it has to us in ours as we wrote and performed it, for it’s yours now.
- John Gleason and Jeremy Benson (Roadside Graves)
01. Far and Wide
02. My Father Sat Me Down
05. Wooden Walls
06. Lift up the Gate
07. To the Sea
08. Anthony’s Gate
09. God Touched Me
10. I Carried Myself
11. The Snake and How It Lost It’s Legs
12. Where the Water Flows
13. My Son’s Home
14. Black Wind
15. Take A Train
16. For the Light of the Homes
17. Dirty Work
18. Work Itself Out
Roadside Graves are:
John Gleason – Vocals, Guitar
Jeremy Benson – Guitar, Violin, Vocals
Rich Zilg – Guitar, Vocals
Mike DeBlasio – Piano
David Jones – Bass
Colin Ryan – Drums
Visit the band online: