FAME Review: Grant Peeples - Prior Convictions
Grant Peeples - Prior Convictions

Prior Convictions

Grant Peeples

Available from iTunes.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Receiving Prior Conviction, Grant Peeples' latest, in the mail was an act of divine mercy, as, after a spate of very good mellow dics, I was nonetheless athirst for the rough edges and, after Grant's last, Prior was preeeee-cise-ly what the doctor ordered. Imagine my surprise then, when the disc commenced with an outrageously righteous and wickedly cool groove on Dylan's Things Have Changed, Ruthie Foster providing a brilliantly spirited contrast to Peeple's forlorn marrow deep blues-folk reading of Bob's ruminations. It would've been impossible to start the disc off any better, an exhilaratingly infectious doorway that opened into what I was hunting for as Patriot Act got down and dirty.

Take a glance at the stack of books on the inside liner, and you'll find the late Joe Bageant's Deer Hunting with Jesus giving a very clear indication of Peeples' political sentiments (n ya might wanna ruminate on the double entendre the sobriquet of Prior Convictions really represents). Patriot Act spares no horses in galloping straight into his take on contemporary matters:

I'm no churchgoing, bulldozing, deal closing, real estate yoyo
I'm no look-at-me S.O.B. gassing some Humvee to work
I'm no Right-winging, scotch drinking, golf-swinging dick around this town
But them's the men I see now, and things are starting to get ugly

…and, lord lord lord, I swear the guy must be reading my mind. Then Nigger Lover comes up with the perfect statement of the idiot Republican mindset while shedding political correctness, blunt and straightfroward, a fist to the face. As Jesse Winchester says, sometimes ya just gotta let the rough side drag, 'cause it's part of nature, the way of things, and oh so satisfying. Peeples ain't shy to do so.

Convictions is another great set of observations from dusty roads and discontent, his best yet but unfailingly pissed, disappointed, thoughtful, and as contemporaneous as tonights newscast…this time from a Left-wing Humanist point of view, albeit a Leftie domain that isn't afraid to do a little knuckledusting. The close of the CD comes down to just Grant and his guitar in a Diogenistic plaint about truth and honesty, a quest perhaps doomed before it ever started, as the singer's voice amply indicates. You'll come away happy for the experience but just a mite unsettled or more. And that's the point.

Track List:

  • Things Have Changed (Bob Dylan)
  • Patriot Act
  • Gunning for the Buddha (Andrews / Allen / Barker)
  • Market Town (Myshkin)
  • Road to Damascus
  • Sad Naked Woman
  • Last Night I Dreamed in Spanish
  • Nigger Lover
  • Pole Dancing to the Gospel Hymns
  • Last Honest Man
All songs written by Grant Peeples except as noted.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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