Those posing as ghosts vanished into the veil in the grey morning light, the men in heavy cloaks slunk back to their shadows. Some of the guests are missing and the hedge maze that seemed so mythically impenetrable the night before is now struck ordinary by the dawn’s damp illumination. Somehow, the least-coveted of the parlor furniture has made its way outside to the courtyard.
On this stage, and awake with the ostensible sun, is the band of musicians that comprise Hezekiah Jones. They are looking for clues, decoding the coded, and performing gentle exorcisms on what still lingers at the fringes with last night’s waltzes still playing snippets in their heads. Stacks of pre-Kodachrome family photos, hand drawn charts of the exoplanets, and half-remembered, half-overheard stories serve as their foundation for inquiry: Who left the door unlocked? What happened in Houghton? Why do all the signs point to Kirk Cameron? Somewhere in there: oosi Lockjaw.
I see you now - as you stand like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start - ‘what does the record sound like, and which era of Will Oldham can I compare it to?’ I’d proffer: ‘the late 00’s, but with a more thoughtful waltz, a less indelicate disposition, and an earnest, spectral, resonance that is undeniable, but also hard to really put your finger on.’ The sound of violins bend in from the hedge maze opening, as if to wake the mortals from their sleep - coming from somewhere over by the moth-eaten chaise lounge, a mandolin stitches its way through songs with a golden thread - a winding guitar melody snakes through the leaves, scattering small brown birds. Raphael Cutrufello sits at the edge of the courtyard fountain, his words shaping meaning from the evidence lay bare before us while further perpetuating the mysterious in the selfsame couplet.
There are exactly 270 pennies at the bottom of the fountain, and all of them are minted 1952.
“In Loving Memory of oosi Lockjaw” by Hezekiah Jones is available 11/13/2015 from woodfarm Records. Peer behind that which occludes you, embrace or reject the everydeath, put your high beams directly on the wall of fog, and recount the story of oosi Lockjaw along with Hezekiah Jones and family.
•Morgan Galen King
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
August 14th 2015
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1. The Dark Heart’s Out
2. Go Cat Fall
3. Hundred Miles In
4. oosi Strikes Out in Hollywood
6. How the Wind Loves You
7. Spare the Wicked
9. Strange Dream
10. Borrowed Heart
12. Bound to be Sick
While your first thought might be ‘who is oosi Lockjaw?,’ perhaps the matter at hand is, rather, ‘What does Hezekiah Jones know about oosi Lockjaw?’ It is, admittedly, a subtle distinction, but is it vital to the game that is, as per Henry V (via Sherlock Holmes), afoot; the who, what, and why of that particular line of questioning is the present mystery that both the band and the listener are - fates now entwined - engaged in. Raphael Cutrufello, principal writer and vocalist, shall serve in the Holmes capacity if you - and you know who I’m talking about - will take on the role of the collective Watson in this journey into inquiry entitled: ‘In Loving Memory of oosi Lockjaw.’
In the 80’s, there was PBS show called ‘Mystery!’ with a fantastically moody opening animation based on Edward Gorey’s evocative illustrations. It featured Victorian socialites in the night, playing croquet in the pouring rain, reflecting hidden messages in mirrors, sinking head-first into the marsh: everyone had their own black cats and untrustworthy onlookers amid all the lightning, fainting, and gossiping. It was great. If that was the dark and stormy night, “In Loving Memory…” is, then, the morning after.
Press - In Loving Memory of oosi Lockjaw
"This Philly-based folk collective led by Raphael Cutrufello have created their finest album and it’s one of my top 5 2015 releases at the moment."
- One Chord to Another - 8/5/15
"The Philadelphia songwriter has shared the baroque “The Dark Heart’s Out” as a teaser. A unique pop/rock tune boasting a colorful array of orchestral flourishes, “The Dark Heart’s Out” perfectly accents the approaching relief of autumn. "
-Magnet Magazine - 9/8/15
Hezekiah Jones ~ In Loving Memory of oosi Lockjaw