Damien Jurado comes from Seattle, Washington, with a repertoire of mostly sad songs of sad people in sad places you never want to be stuck in. With a soft folk voice reminiscent of Sam Beam of Iron and Wine and a knack for story-telling like Bob Dylan, the characters of his songs come to life in front of your eyes in a way that makes you feel their pain and see the light at the end of the tunnel that they see.
Not all his songs are depressing. Amidst these sad songs, Jurado has a few simple folk songs that remind you that it’s good to be alive.
Jurado began his solo career in the 1990s, but he was making music in bands before that. He played with the hardcore band Coolidge, alongside David Bazan of Pedro the Lion and Eben Haase of Blenderhead.
Besides Coolidge, Jurado played keyboard on one song with the infamous band Raft of Dead Monkeys. Do yourself a favor and read the Wikipedia page about them here. You’ll never be the same again. The band, made mostly of openly Christian members, mocked and satirized the rock and roll culture, using nudity, vulgar lyrics, and gore to provoke a reaction in audience members. Pretty weird stuff.
He has released eight solo albums in his time, but the folksy acoustic stuff is the best in my opinion.
Though Damien Jurado has been called a “fine Christian chap” and has a number of Christian friends, he makes no claims to being a “Christian musician.” That said, I enjoy his songs and I think you will too.
Before you leave, here are two for you to listen to. “Matinee” is one of his rare happier songs and “I Had no Intentions” follows his usual routine of telling a sad story with glimmers of hope:
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