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Damien Jurado (Seattle)
Damien Jurado has hit for the cycle in his varied career, self-releasing lo-fi Folk cassettes in the mid-’90s, then signing with Sub Pop in 1996, resulting in his 1997 debut, Waters Ave S, and its high profile 1999 follow-up, the Ken Stringfellow-produced Rehearsals for Departure. 2000’s Ghost of David was an intimate, personal and dour album, while 2002’s electric and energetic I Break Chairs, produced by Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan, was a substantial stylistic shift; it also represented his Sub Pop swan song. Since signing with Secretly Canadian in 2003, Jurado has followed a similar path, with his early releases veering more toward his acoustic Indie Folk roots while 2008’s Caught in the Trees was slightly more plugged in and turned up. Jurado’s last two albums, 2010’s Saint Bartlett and 2012’s Maraqopa, were helmed by Richard Swift and found the singer/songwriter in a creative mood that was pensive, gorgeous, atmospheric and sonically diverse. Three years ago, Jurado retreated from roadwork to concentrate on recording and his newly arrived son, but he’s back with a vengeance this year (with a new album poised for 2014), so new songs may pepper his set on his current circuit.
YDIIYD: Jim James haunted by the ghost of Nick Drake. (Brian Baker)