Jon Dee Graham – The Tom Waits of Alt-Country

Whether its his weathered face, gruff and raspy delivery or his edgy songs for some reason Jon dee Graham reminds me of Tom Waits (perhaps it’s just the hat). Graham has been around the block as part of the punk band The Skunks and then in the 80′s as part of the True Believers. He was lured out of semi-musical retirement by none other than Kelly Willis and has since recorded four solo albums for New West.


Here’s 3 songs from 2004′s The Great Battle

To download right click and change the file name to whatever you want .mp3 (any problems please leave a comment)


E. 11th Street

World So Full

4 Responses to “Jon Dee Graham – The Tom Waits of Alt-Country”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Craig — I’m starting to feel redundant saying this, but “you are the greatest.” Your musical taste really amazes me. I’ve never heard of Graham before, but I love Tom Waits and these tunes have convinced me I need to seek Graham out. Thanks so much.
    BTW, I also like Guy Clark, although I already had some of his stuff.

    One of these days I should send you a list of some of my faves, since we seem to have similar tastes. Two off the top of my head that I’ve been listening to lately are Don Dixon and Treat Her Right (the early incarnation of Morphine that was a bit more rootsy less jazzy although Morphine was great too). The surviving members of Morphine are now the Twinemen which are sort of bluesy and Dave Champagne of Treat Her Right is now The Heygoods with his wife and they are back to the rootsy/country sound. (He also had a band called the Jazz Popes, but I can’t find any of their music).

    — Mindy B

  2. guanoboy says:

    It’s not just the hat…he’s definately go some vocal similarities to Waits…

    I flew on a plane once w/Waits…he was exactly how you would imagine…stumbling around and mumbling and friendly…all at the same time…he was completely by himself although he was picked up by a black sedan.

  3. Craig says:

    thanks for the comments and no mindy I don’t hear it too much so thanks again. I grew up in Boston so I am well aware of treat her right I have the lp around here somewhere and saw tham at an WFNX show some tim ein 85 I guess, thanks for the update on all the bandmembers I wasn’t actually aware of any of that I will track them all down

  4. Greg says:

    Another home run Craig! I first heard John Dee on a New West sampler a few years ago. I hadn’t thought of the Tom Waits similarity, but you’re right. Not that it takes anything away from his own rough-hewn talents. Thanks for yet another great post!