Back in the summer of ‘94, Jeff Buckley’s breakthrough debut Grace was recorded and ready for release by Columbia Records, but the now-iconic singer’s only non-posthumous LP had yet to reach the ears of the masses, including those of KCRW’s Chris Douridas. “I remember it being a very busy time for us at KCRW and I confess, I initially didn’t respond positively to Columbia Records’ efforts to get Jeff a spot on our show,” he wrote in an article recalling the July 28th session, which the radio station is now offering as a free stream (via LA Weekly).
“I didn’t really feel prepared to speak to Jeff. I knew very little about him at that point,” Douridas also confessed, adding later:
Clearly none of this mattered however. All misgivings fell away once the session began. I remember Jeff being extremely warm, very charismatic, and absolutely genuine. The performance exuded a rare intensity that is still very apparent sixteen years on.
You may want to make room in your schedule to listen to this, as it’s a mesmerizing performance that should not be consumed while operating heavy machinery. I’ve always loved experiencing art before the artist has any clue if it will lead to any fame or critical acclaim, and vintage audio like this is the epitome of such an experience.