Jesse Woods is an indie-folk singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas. A lot is made of the fact that he used to be an American football player. He grew up in Katy, Texas and was a star wide receiver on the Taylor High School football team. That’s the same high school where Janeane Garofalo went many years before Woods. Remember when Janeane Garofalo was relevant?
Woods was apparently a big deal at his high school. Good enough to earn a scholarship to Texas A&M. A bunch of injuries and surgeries limited his play. So much that he only appeared in three games during his entire college football career. They all came during his junior season in 2004. He caught just five balls for a total of 62 yards. It was one in a long line of mediocre Aggies teams. After that season, he re-evaluated his options, and decided that after five surgeries in four years, it was time to give up on football. Up until then, he never meant for music to become his first focus. Since then, he’s spent all those years and a couple of self-released EPs working towards today. Today marks the release of Jesse Woods’ debut album Get Your Burdens Lifted via Guns in the Sun Records.
I got something in the mail bag a couple of weeks ago about Jesse Woods. And then again yesterday to remind me that the album was coming out. And then again today, as I had already started writing this, I got TWO more reminders. Who says music industry PR is dead?
Today’s song is, I think, one of the strongest songs on a record full of strong songs.
“Cold Blood” by Jesse Woods
It’s got a bit of fuzz, a bit of twang, a bit of dark, a bit of bright. Woods’ honey-drenched voice, especially on this song, reminded me of something, but it took me a while to figure it out. I’m reminded of that first Sondre Lerche record, 2001’s Faces Down. I liked that record a lot. I mean A LOT, but for some reason, I never got any of Lerche’s five subsequent proper albums.
I really like these lyrics:
You’re just what I want
Maybe not just what I need
That’s okay with me
If that’s okay with you
We’ve got places to be
But nothing to prove
Somebody shoot me while I’m happy
Feed me to the sharks while I’m ahead
I like that sentiment. The idea of being happy about life or love or whatever but realizing that it’s an acme. Nobody wants to experience the downward trajectory. People say it all the time. “Now that I’ve done _____, I could die happy right now”. The implication here is “with you”. The phrase “Somebody shoot me while I’m happy” rung a bell with me, but I couldn’t remember exactly where I remembered it from. Although I probably remember seeing it in Kurt Vonnegut’s final novel Timequake, the origin of the phrase is much older than that. It’s apparently an old vaudevillian expression.
After listening to the whole album a couple of times, I can’t find a weak song on the album. I can, without hesitation, recommend it. As I said, this is one of the stronger songs.
You can buy Get Your Burdens Lifted today in your choice of formats from the Guns in the Sun web store.