Damien Jurado is not a singer-songwriter

Though he does write songs and sing them.

May 16, 2012

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Damien Jurado performs "Museum of Flight" from Maraqopa (Secretly Canadian)

Damien Jurado is a legend of the Seattle music scene. While he doesn't set guitars on fire or smash them like other Seattle legends Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, he has crafted quite a legacy for himself. Over ten studio albums, he's covered a lot of musical ground and influenced a generation of Pacific Northwest musicians to explore atmospheric folk sounds. Some, like Fleet Foxes and The Head and The Heart, have done quite well for themselves.

Jurado's own recorded output, however, doesn't fit neatly within one genre. On Eight Forty-Eight Wednesday he said he identifies more with the singer-songwriters of the 1970s, like Neil Young and Randy Newman, than the defined genre that has developed since then. Early in his career Jurado experimented with pop, rock and even released an album of nothing but tapes he found in thrift stores.

From 2003-2008 he stayed mostly in the folk tradition, furthering the singer-songwriter label critics had applied to him. With Saint Bartlett in 2010 Jurado teamed up with producer Richard Swift and adopted a recording technique that focused more on sound than song. It turned out to be just the spark Jurado needed 13 years into his career. He performed songs from Saint Bartlett in WBEZ's studios in 2010.

The follow-up to that album, Maraqopa, has continued the collaboration with Swift and garnered even more critical praise. Jurado stopped by Eight Forty-Eight on Wednesday to play a few songs from that album and one from Saint Bartlett before his show at Schubas and in-store performance at Reckless Records on Broadway.


Damien Jurado performs "Rachel and Cali" from Saint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian)


Damien Jurado performs "Working Titles" from Maraqopa (Secretly Canadian)