Okra and Ecclesiastes
Every day, with the sun, millions of Americans rise up and leave their homes, some to jobs and some to sit and watch and wait for one. And each evening, many of those same millions grab a quart of beer and a lottery ticket or two. The former a purchase for short-term gain, the latter the kind of retirement plan that too many of us rely on, the only chance at an American dream that is doled out at too-steep odds.
That’s what Grant Peeples, equal parts troubadour and troublemaker, knows and writes about. And with Okra and Ecclesiastes, produced by Gurf Morlix and recorded in Austin, he has, right here, a pretty damn good record. Grant’s songwriting ability has solidified and as much as I liked his previous one, Pawnshop, the twelve tracks here tell his stories with more economy and confidence. The title comes from the opening track, My People Come From The Dirt, and from a place where clinging to guns and religion isn’t a derogatory remark. (“White bread and kerosene/Catfish and flatbeds, sweat stains and retreads, okra and Ecclesiastes”)
The strength of this record, however, is when Grant’s scathing social commentary blends with a genuine eye for the human condition, like the two married lovers who have no place to go except out underneath the Powerlines, a song that recalls Guy Clark. (“Signs are everywhere: “Danger Keep Away” Well….this looks like the perfect place”)
Grant Peeples sings about these people, because these people are our people. And our people? They come from the dirt.
PS: If you want this record, Grant trusts you. Write him and he’ll send you a copy, then he will trust you to pay him.