Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Leaves: Headstones and Dead Leaves

Glossary: Headstones and Dead Leaves

I’m trying hard to write about bands that I haven’t written about before, and this is a bonus, because it seems that Glossary has never been written about on this site. I can’t be sure, but there’s a good chance that I heard about the band from a now defunct blog called Nine Bullets, which was founded back in 2006 by a gentleman who went by the name Autopsy IV, who championed the kind of Americana roots rock that Glossary played so well. (Longtime readers of this site may remember that Autopsy IV was a contributor here back in 2008-2009).

Often compared to Lucero (with whom they have toured, and shared members and a record label) or Drive-By Truckers, because they actually do sound like those bands, Glossary, from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, had their own style, and released a handful of albums from the late 1990s through the 2010s, all of which are worth checking out. Led by legally blind singer/songwriter/guitarist Joey Kneiser, Glossary focuses on character-driven and personal songs that are well-written and well-played, often featuring harmony vocals from Kneiser’s now ex-wife Kelly (with whom he continues to perform).

“Headstones and Dead Leaves,” from 2006’s For What I Don’t Become, is a perfect song for the theme, and for this time of year, as we head into the Halloween season, although despite its title, it is a hopeful song. The singer tells his partner that he doesn’t want her to die for him, or give up anything for him, because the world is cruel enough. He continues:

And headstones and dead leaves 
Are just reminders of 
What happens to living things like us 

In the end, though, he says that together, they can bury their regrets and “walk away alive.”

It appears that Glossary went on hiatus in 2013, when its drummer hurt his shoulder, but reformed in 2017 for some anniversary shows. Kneiser has released some fine solo albums, some more music with Kelly (now) Smith, and tours as a solo and duo act.

Bottom line—if you like this sort of music, Glossary is one of those bands that you might have missed, but it is never too late to catch up.

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