Richard Buckner To Play the Mercury Lounge in NYC (3/20)

It was about 18 months or so ago that one of the best songwriters ever, Richard Buckner, quietly decided to stop making music. He went out with very little fanfare, giving a brief interview to a small newspaper and that appeared to be it. Buckner said he wanted to move on, and had decided to settle down in Upstate New York and see where things took him.

I would argue the Buckner's first four records, Bloomed, Devotion & Doubt, Since and The Hill, released between 1994-2000, stand with the greatest initial outputs in the history of music. After 2000, Buckner's work wasn't nearly as impressive, but there were certainly moments, highlighted by his final release, 2006's Meadow. Buckner was the 90's version of Townes Van Zandt, and as far as complete records go, Buckner was even better.

Last night, after putting down my book for the night, instead of turning over and searching for sleep, I reached for the iPod and put on The Hill. When the record moved into "Julia Miller", I looked outside my bedroom window at the fading lights and literally felt transformed to a different time. When Buckner sang, "Across the blackness that came over my eyes / I see the flickering light of these words even now", it felt like an earlier time, a simpler time, a time that moved slowly. Buckner is one of the few artists able to completely remove me from the here and now. And if his upcoming show at the Mercury Lounge is a sign of his return, well, what a blessing.