A State of Grace: The Music of Tim and Jeff Buckley
"Jeff Buckley was a pure drop in an ocean of noise." (Bono, 1997)
"Tim Buckley embodied all the virtue of grace." (Rolling Stone)
Tim and Jeff Buckley’s legacy has inspired generations of musicians and listeners. A State of Grace celebrates their brilliant, complicated lives and music, bringing together images and stories with six stellar singers and musicians with close connections to both.
This is a moving, definitive portrait of two of the most beloved voices in rock, overseen by Gary Lucas, the legendary New York guitarist / composer who worked closely with Jeff, co-writing the immortal songs ‘Grace’ and ‘Mojo Pin’.
Assembled to recapture the magic of Tim and Jeff Buckley’s songs are musicians with the depth, breadth and empathy to do them justice: Martha Wainwright, Casper Clausen (of Efterklang), Willy Mason, Camille O’Sullivan, Steve Kilbey and Cold Specks led by guitarist/producer Gary Lucas with his band Gods and Monsters.
Jeff Buckley completed only one studio album in his too brief life - drowning at 30 - but it made him one of the most influential musicians of the 1990s and beyond. Grace, that fragile yet ferocious miracle of an album, moved millions. Jeff only met his father a handful of times - Tim died in 1975, aged 28. But the musical legacy Tim left behind, a wildly eclectic and brilliant collection of eight studio albums, served as Jeff’s musical touchstone. Tim and Jeff’s music becomes a point of departure for a soul-stirring reinterpretation and exploration in this premiere event.
Gary Lucas, Musical Director
Described by the New Yorker as “the thinking man’s guitar hero,” Gary Lucas brings a peerless musical pedigree to A State of Grace. Along with a wealth of his own solo recordings and performances, Gary has worked closely with legendary maverick Captain Beefheart, and was a key figure in Jeff Buckley’s rise. Gary and Jeff co-wrote ‘Grace’ and ‘Mojo Pin’ — songs based on Gary’s instrumentals and centrepieces of the Grace album, along with numerous other compositions, some of which will feature in A State of Grace. Gary brings with him Gods and Monsters. The line-up features Ernie Brooks (ex Modern Lovers), Jason Candler (Hungry March Band), Richard Dworkin (Alex Chilton) and Jordan Shapiro, renowned for his role in Project / Object, an outfit that reinterprets the music of Frank Zappa. Gods and Monsters have rightfully been described as “an underground rock fan’s dream team”.
As part of the famous Wainwright/McGarrigle musical dynasty, Martha Wainwright was engulfed in a sea of music from childbirth. But this chanteuse has cemented her claim as a bona-fide artist in her own right, as well as contributing to albums by Kate and Anna McGarrigle and her brother Rufus, along with Teddy Thompson, Dan Bern and Snow Patrol. Martha’s incredible, evocative voice is equally suited to pop, soul, folk and torch. As Spin magazine was moved to say, “Her stage presence suggests several things at one time — defiant and strong, yet with an edge of vulnerability and sadness as well.” Martha was most recently seen in the HBO mini-series Olive Kitteridge.
This Irish French chanteuse is one of the most gifted interpreters of narrative songs around. Renowned for her dark and distinctive take on the music of Nick Cave and Tom Waits, Camille will now add the songs of Jeff and Tim Buckley to her stunning repertoire.
Grace was also a key album for Casper Clausen, the singer for renowned Danish ensemble Efterklang, whose fourth album, 2012’s Piramida, was launched at the Sydney Opera House. “Grace is a direct channel to my teenage heart,” says Casper, “it was the soundtrack to an important time of my life, and it still is a clear projection of a feeling across time.”
Steve Kilbey, the leader of ARIA Hall of Fame inductees the Church, discovered Jeff Buckley’s music by chance. ‘’I first [over]heard Jeff Buckley at a gig,’’ Steve recalls. ‘’Someone was playing Grace and I was transfixed by the music and his voice — still has the some effect almost 20 years later.’’
New Yorker Willy Mason last visited Australia in 2012, playing dates with Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Willy’s latest album, Carry On, was given a four star rave review in The Guardian, who praised his emotional depth.
Winner of the Sirius/XM Indie Female Artist of the Year, Somali/Canadian singer / songwriter Cold Specks has worked with everyone from Moby (‘A Case for Shame’) to Michael Gira of the Swans, on her latest album, 2014’s Neuroplasticity, a record praised by the AllMusic Guide as an “unholy union of Odetta and Tindersticks”, who also likened Cold Specks’ music to St Vincent, TV on the Radio and Macy Gray.
Jordan Shapiro , Keys/Piano
Jason Candler , Saxophones/Clarinet
Ernie Brooks , Bass
Richard Dworkin, Drums
Merri Cyr and Nurit Wilder, Visual Imagery
Gaynor Crawford and Kirsten Siddle, Creative Producers
Jeff Apter, Creative Associate
Unseen Jeff Buckley photos reflect on singer's legacy 20 years after Grace.
Sydney's Blender Gallery is showcasing some unseen photos of singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley, 20 years after the release of his album Grace, and his biographer reflects on Buckley's untimely death and lasting musical legacy.
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