THE JODY GRIND
Lefty's Deceiver (DB Records)

By Paul Moffett

Kelly Hogan Murray sings like the young Katherine Hepburn looked: cool, composed, sensual, womanly. The rest of the band also seems rooted in the same post-WW II period, with influences ranging from Duke Ellington to Billie Holliday to Woody Guthrie. Nevertheless, the focus of this album is definitely Nineties.

The nameJody Grind itself is derived from a GI expression that refers to the presumed lover of a soldier's wife or girlfriend. The drums are played with brushes, the bass is a stand-up acoustic, the guitar parts are either sparse and melodic riffs orVentures jangly chords. It all works because the songwriting is pretty good in most places and very good in some. Unfortunately, the record company did not see fit to put songwriting credits either on the CD or the insert.

Nevertheless, consider these lines from "Promise of Sleep":

I've lived in the whites of a horse's eye,

fear dressed me up like a fool.

I was afraid lust would catch me on fire.

I just wanted to be sure of you.

This band is, unfortunately, the Band That Could Have Been. The bassist,Robert Hayes and drummerRob Clayton were killed in an auto accident in April, along with a comedian who had been opening for them.

According to their label, DB Recs, singer Murray and guitaristBill Taft plan to return to performing but are undecided about when and with what group of musicians. Watch for them when they do.

Available from DB Records, 432 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307.