The Graveyard Court is a conceptual album that follows the “Everyman” or “Common man” character through his realization and denial that his life is not “his” life at all. In fact it is a sham, a fabrication of always taking the path of least resistance, of only going with the flow and letting things fall into his lap. No decisions are his decisions.
B.B. Mayes being much inspired by the works of Camus (The Stranger) and Raymond Carver (So Much Water So Close To Home) depicts the nagging, the realization, and the avoidance of the skeleton through such songs as “These Rattlin’ Bones”, “Up until now” and “Stalking moon”. While the title track “The Graveyard Court/You stood by”, which culminates in a blistering piano solo from Ryan Black, puts the man on the witness stand in a face to face confrontation with his “skeleton”.
Mark Burleson musically and vocally adopts the character of “Everyman” while Ryan Black becomes the “Skeleton” character. Both producers wrote, performed and worked with B.B. Mayes separately on their songs in order to be true to their characters.
This is one original piece of art with both Black and Burleson at the top of their games. Burleson’s guitar work has never been more authentic or inspired. The solos on “That Skeleton” and “Still Rattlin’” are as cool as the “Lovin’ it” solo from “Where Three Roads Meet“. While Black’s piano and trumpet are highlights throughout the albums’ classical orchestration which is meant to give the album a theatrical feel.
The Graveyard Court is both creepy and funny while being a musically diverse listening experience which when digested slowly will keep your skeleton rattlin’ for years to come.
Lyrics can be found here.