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This piece is part of the Algorhythms project: artists telling stories about music they discovered from humans. Because where we discover music is an important part of its impact, and not all music is discovered through an algorithm.

Grayson Capps on Diamanda Galas

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Grayson Capps (Nicola Cornwell)

Grayson Capps is a southern songwriter of the Americana lineage. The Alabama native has spent the better part of three decades chronicling the vims of vigors of life and tales of the folks around him. Music and her people have led him through New Orleans, where he studied acting and created thrash folk band The House Levellers and the blues rock outfit, Stavin Chain, to Nashville and another new group, The Lost Cause Minstrels, and back home to Alabama where he formed the songwriting collective, Willie Sugarcapps. He wrote many of the songs featured in the Scarlett Johansson-led film, A Love Song for Bobby Long — based on a book by Grayson’s father — and today he’s preparing to release a 16-song retrospective that celebrates his journeys.

The upcoming album, South Front Street, was compiled by his wife and Grammy® Award-winning producer/engineer, Trina Shoemaker. In the album’s liner notes, Shoemaker explains: “I began this as a personal compilation that I sequenced for myself. It is a collection of songs that paint a picture of our life together and reveals a world from the uniquely enchanted, poetic and tormented perspective of Grayson Capps.” She continues later: “These songs capture a life in motion, in pain and joy, in gain and loss, in humility and in grace.”

For his Algorythm, Grayson shared a pithy account of discovering Diamanda Galas, whose distinct vocal prowess inspired him to push his own voice in creative ways…

I remember when a friend of mine turned me on to Diamanda Galas, an extraordinary vocalist capable of inflicting extreme elation and terror at the same time. My discovery of her gave me more freedom in pursuing my own eccentricities as a performer and truly transformed my awareness of music’s power.

Grayson’s South Front Street: A Retrospective 1997–2019 will be released June 19 via Royal Potato Family. Pre-order the record here, and our full Algorhythms playlist is here.

Interested in discovering your own eccentricities from the music a friend shares with you? Check out the Grey Matter beta.