This is going to be about a musician this time around dear readers. I know that normally I focus on films, but this musician has become all but forgotten by so many. He deserves better to be quite honest. First a little background on how I found him. His name is Jeff Buckley and I first heard him covering a Leonard Cohen song, and this may be his most famous song, called Hallelujah in a movie. I don't remember which movie it was, I don't even remember what part of the movie, but what I do remember is the first time I heard it I was moved. The song already has some very moving lyrics, but Jeff Buckely's voice is so haunting and his guitar playing so perfect it just sucks you in. So of course you would think I would go right out and look for everything by him, right? Nope. It took me years before I thought about him again. A movie came out this year called Greetings From Tim Buckley. It is about Jeff Buckley doing his first major appearance at a tribute concert to his father Tim. For those of you who don't know either of these men, don't worry you aren't alone. Tim Buckley was a folk musician in the 60s and 70s who never really got huge outside of certain underground fans. He was, like his son would be and was, a musicians musician. He was technically sound, lyrically poetic, and vocally he had a five octave range and knew how to use it well. These are all things his son would prove later in his own life he had as well. So Jeff gets kind of forced into doing this concert. The reason he is sort of forced is that Jeff barely knew his father. His father left him and his mother before Jeff was even old enough to go to school. He didn't see him again, ever. Jeff wasn't even invited to his own fathers funeral by his fathers widow and his fathers step son.
So Jeff grew up hardly knowing the man, but looking a lot like him, and having a knack for music. He had a 5 octave range like his father, he was extremely poetic, and his guitar skills may have even exceeded his fathers. So Jeff does this concert, becomes an overnight hit, and puts out an album entitled "Grace." Hallelujah was the big single from it, but none of the songs were truly ignored by reviewers or fellow musicians. The album is a huge hit, it's called the best album of the year by many music reviewers, and was even on the ten best of the year by Rolling Stone. So why haven't you heard of him? Well here's the thing, he goes into the studio to make the next album in Nashville. One night he and some of his bandmates and friends are walking near the river and Jeff jokingly says he's going in for a swim and jumps in. Well the problem was he was caught in a ships undertow and drowned. He wasn't and alcoholic, didn't do drugs, wasn't filled with unending depression. It was just stupid dumb luck that killed him.
So go forth dear readers and look for him on YouTube. The reason I say youtube is because you can find many songs he sang publicly that were never put on any album. Some like his fathers Once I Was, or the wonderful song made famous by Billie Holliday called Strange Fruit. Both of those you can tell he had amazing range and incredible talent. If you'd like to hear something he himself wrote I suggest starting with Lover You Should Have Come Over or the title track to his album Grace. Hallelujah is of course a wonderful starting point as well. Thanks for reading.