Hello readers of the internet. My name is Jon Caplan and I am just a little bit obsessed with music. I am a Popular Music major at William Paterson, and I went to high school at Nutley High. I came to Willy P to really get a grasp on what it takes to make a name in the music biz, as well as to hone my craft of songwriting and performing. Oh and did I mention that I love Jeff Buckley’s music? Cause I do.
Jeff Buckley is truly a one of a kind artist. Blending elements of Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and eastern singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, he created an unbelievably unique sound in his music. Upon first listen, his haunting tones put the listener into an unbelievably mysterious space that is incredibly inviting. Then once you’re there, the guys voice is just stupid good. There’s really no other way to put it. But even though he had such a powerful and moving voice, he would always wait until late into his songs to really let it loose. This was just a small part of his artistry at work.
For me, he is one of the most important artists because he made me want to explore what I could do as a vocalist. He stripped away all of the things that a male vocalist should or shouldn’t do, and he just let everything loose without a care for the norm or the popular music at the time. I continue to find new things in his music when i go back and listen closely to it. Songs like Mojo Pin, Grace, and Lover You Should Have Come Over are absolute studies on how to build a song from the ground up; he used everything from silence and the smoothest vocal lines, to blaring instruments and screaming vocals and everything in between.
The songs just have a way of gripping you from wherever you are and dropping you directly into the current moment. It’s something special. His music also helped me get through some particularly lonely times in my life, and it always somehow helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel, however corny it may be. There was always something embedded in the music that was so positive and excited about life, no matter how dark it might have appeared at the surface.
Buckley has inspired countless musicians throughout the years. This is no surprise, as anyone who listened could tell that he was on another level musically. Paul McCartney as well as Jimmy Paige were huge fans before Buckley was even close to the height of his popularity. His was a song that cut through the noise because he truly let the music be the guide and let nothing else get in the way.
It’s too bad that every story about Jeff Buckley has to end with the mention of his untimely death from drowning at the age of 30 after only recording 2 studio albums, but that’s just the way it is. If there is one positive about his death, it is that it was a catalyst for his music to be listened to around the world. If you have never listened to Jeff Buckley before, prepare yourself for something unlike anything you have ever heard before.