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Interview:
Ten albums in, David Gray continues to grow and stretch
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

David Gray isn't making too big of a deal out of it, but reaching his 10th album with this year's "Mutineers" is no modest achievement.

"I guess numbers are siginificant, if you stop and think about it," notes the British singer-songwriter, whose first release, "A Century Ends," came out in 1993 and who hit commercial paydirt with "Babylon" from his 1998 album "White Ladder." "It's a lot of records by anybody's standards. It embodies a long period of time and a lot of shows, a lot of head-scratching, a ot of writing, a lot of recording, a lot of getting it wrong -- and a lot of good stuff as well.

"So it's something to reflect on. It doesn't get any easier making records, I can tell you that."

That was certainly the case with "Mutineers," a project Gray, 46, battled into being after suffering "a sort fo creative impasse. I wanted something I didn't have, but I didn't know what that was. So it was a real challenge this time." The impasse was broken by producer Andy Barlow, a member of the British trip-hop duo Lamb who`s also worked with artists such as Elbow, Damien Rice and Placebo. Despite "a very awkward beginning," Gray says Barlow proved to be "the thing I was looking for" and pushed Gray's songs in the new directions he craved.

"He has an ear for sounds and soundscape, very strong feelings and an amazing vocabulary of sounds and weird things he can throw at stuff," Gray says of Barlow. "He came in with his wrecking ball and smashed things up a bit, which was difficult to take at times but was exactly the right way to go about it in the end."

David Gray

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17

Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills

Tickets are $39.50-$68 pavilion, $24 lawn

Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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