Vermonter (transplanted from NYC) Kris Gruen has a mellow way about him. When we hosted him for a Live Luxury Wafers Session back in April of 2009, we instantly felt comfy in his quiet and unassuming presence. Once he began to play guitar and sing, it became apparent that Gruen’s interface with the world is sheer poetry and that his music, perhaps a sort of meditation for him, is an eloquent expression of that, his poetic experience. <Check out Kris Gruen’s Live Luxury Wafers Session – five very high quality downloadable audio tracks plus one rough live video with super high quality sound.>
Kris Gruen‘s New Comics From The Wooded World (July 2, 2013, Motherwest), took me on a journey in which there was a distinct beginning, middle and end. Who’s Gonna Watch The Baby welcomed me into the record with a breezy tempo, deft harmonica and a smile. Gruen then led me through a forest of thoughts and ideas with Morning Glory and Don’t Be Shy. Next, an energetic and edgy Company Man, featuring stand-out harmonies, invigorated my senses, inviting me to jump into and frolic further in feelings of warm goodness, distance and time with the songs Law Of Attraction, Looking Back (laden with a double dose of delicious harmonies by the lovely Bowmans), and Cemetery, likely my favorite ‘chapter’ of the record. Anchors, a beautiful duet, emotionally concludes the epic album. The final track, Little Again, feels like a Benjamin Button-like ending, a backwards beginning that, though simply melodious, somehow chafes me, provoking further exploration. Ironically, I found the last track, Little Again, which yearns for the sweetness of childhood, to be unsettling, while I found, Cemetery, which describes a visit to the burial site of a loved one, to be comforting, like a soft woolen blanket in a winter-white world. Here, Gruen, at his most humble and honest, sweetly shares, “Love is a river, I’ve been shown.”
The end result of listening to the entire album, filled with songs that each claim a life of their own, is the feeling that comes from reading and digesting a well-crafted story. From start to finish, Kris Gruen’s New Comics From The Wooded World unsuspectingly seeped and trickled its way in, leaving me to further contemplate and with the itch of an unresolved question.
Kris Gruen is on tour right now. Check out tour dates further down below. Here’s a listen to Cemetery. For the whole experience, listen to the entire album – streaming HERE at Motherwest.
Kris Gruen’s Summer 2013 Tour Dates:
6/23/2013 – WNCS The Point Central VT
6/29/2013 – Positive Pie Montpelier, VT
6/30/2013 – Colony Café Woodstock, NY
7/1/2013 – 2pm EST Shindig.com (Online Event)
7/1/2013 – Bowery Electric New York, NY
7/5/2013 – The Basement Nashville, TN
7/6/2013 – Noon EST WDVX The Blue Plate Special Knoxville, TN
7/7/2013 – Bluebird Cafe Nashville, TN
7/14/2013 – Rod and Gun Club (with Michelle Malone) Brooklyn, NY
7/18/2013 – Vermont Public Radio VT
7/20/2013 – Radio Bean Burlington, VT