jt songs – The Good Irish Doctor and a Story for Smiling.

About 10 years ago I lived in a sweaty attic in Athens, GA with my good friend Michael Tully. Mike brought few possessions down from his home state of Maryland: A suitcase filled with indie rock tees, a pair of Jack Purcells and a very large box of video tapes filled to the brim with every essential film to watch before you die. I think I got a heavy dose of an indie film education from that box. Before his arrival we were forced to watch a borrowed video cassette containing 6 episodes of the sit-com "Friends." Those were dark times.

On Mike’s birthday his sister express-shipped a large container of Maryland crabs for us to enjoy. I remember a steady pile of empty PBR bottles and crab carcasses scattered on newspaper all around the living room while Altman’s Nashville played in the background. I remember thinking that a grand gesture of sending seafood to your little brother on his birthday, not just for him, but enough for 10 people to enjoy was something special and showed the power of having family members that were also your best friends.

Mike also does an amazing impression of his Irish father drinking a beer. He raises his pint, says "Gud luck" in the thickest of brogues and drinks it down in one, long swallow. It is hilarious to see.

This long introduction is meant to show you how golden the Tully family is to each other and to those around them. This brings me to jt songs. Jt songs is the musical product of John Tully, my friend Mike’s Irish cousin. I don’t really know John, only through his music and a few messages back and forth on that other site with the teens and the music…you know the one I am referring to. John’s songs have that dusty reel-to-reel, buried in the back of the closet "how did this stay hidden for so long" feel. When I first heard "song from limbo" I was floored. It is so haunting, so rocking and so, well Irish, I had a hard time believing this guy was just making these dirges to fill an artistic need until he finished Med School. Yeah, I feel lazy and ashamed in comparison.

Apparently the legend goes like this. Mike’s sister Carol passed John’s songs to Mr. David Berman, the Silver Jew. Out of politeness to his friend Carol, Mr. Berman gave the disc a spin and was so smitten that he arranged for jt songs to come to the States and play some shows with the Silver Jews. The rest will soon be history. the jt songs website isn’t up and running yet, but you can find and download a few tracks from that other site…until the real record drops.

And Mike? Right now he is burning up the festival circuit with his beautifully tragic directorial debut, Cocaine Angel.

Please support the good Tully folks and check out their offerings. I am all the better for it.

One thought on “jt songs – The Good Irish Doctor and a Story for Smiling.”

  1. Craig, Not only am I gonna support the Tully folks, but I am also going to eat some crab legs soon. PBR will quite possibly be involved. Your picturesque blog made me realize that life is short. I must eat, drink and listen well. Bravo!

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