Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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John Trudell

  • AKA Grafitti Man [Rykodisc, 1992] A-
  • Johnny Damas and Me [Rykodisc, 1994] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

AKA Grafitti Man [Rykodisc, 1992]
Stubbornly utopian in the face of continuing defeat, hip to the way idealism succumbs to neurosis, his remixed compilation is a counterculture throwback that never seems dated. The settings, sharp studio-rock readymades keyed to the very '60s guitar of the late Jesse Ed Davis and spiced occasionally by Native American chants or drumbeats, can get you going, and Trudell takes them as his due. Making no attempt to sing, he bounces his recitations off their backboard like a beatnik discovering poetry-with-jazz, his timing and inflection devoid of hesitation or bad faith even though Kris Kristofferson's laconically off-key backup sounds harmonically sophisticated by comparison. It's as if nothing of musical moment has happened since Highway 61 Revisited. A-

Johnny Damas and Me [Rykodisc, 1994] Dud