01 : The Reasons Why
02 : Change Is Gonna Come
03 : The Letter
04 : More Like You
05 : Killingly Hard
Antony & J. Ralph
06 : Flower and the Lion
07 : Given to Us
08 : Breaking the Hold
09 : Lying Down Statues
Devendra Banhart & J. Ralph
10 : Birdsong Judy
11 : Low Barefoot Tolerance
12 : One Whole Hour
13 : No Regard
14 : Four Brave Souls
15 : Breakers & the Wind
16 : Pretty Words Lie
17 : Fighters & Factitioners
18 : Hello For the First Time (Four Words)
19 : Entenderse
20 : Birdsong (Reprise)
First released in the USA 11 January 2011 as a digital download via iTunes.
Also issued in the USA 5 April 2011 as a limited edition CD by Barnes Noble Consign 78044 and limited edition vinyl LP (Cat. No. not known).
Issued in the UK circa April 2011 by Rumour Mill Records as a digital download via iTunes
Produced, Engineered, Mixed & Arranged by J. Ralph
Co-Produced by Arthur Pingrey
Recorded at The Theater, NYC except:
08 : Recorded at Weir Residence, San Francisco, CA
09 : Recorded at The Village Recorder, Santa Monica, CA
11 : Recorded at Stills Residence, Los Angeles, CA
16 & 17 : Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London
Music & Lyrics by J. Ralph except:
03 : Music by J. Ralph / Lyrics by J. Ralph & Carly Simon
05 : Music & Lyrics by J. Ralph & Antony Hegarty
07 : Music & Lyrics by J. Ralph & Ben Taylor
09 : Music & Lyrics by J. Ralph & Devendra Banhart
11 : Music & Lyrics by J. Ralph & Stephen Stills
14 : Music by J. Ralph / Lyrics by David Garza & J. Ralph
19 : Music by J. Ralph / Lyrics by J. Ralph & Hugh Stockton
20 : Music by J. Ralph
J. RALPH ASSEMBLES UNBELIEVABLE CAST OF LEGENDARY VOICES FOR ‘WRETCHES & JABBERERS’ OUT JAN. 11, 2011
J. Ralph – acclaimed composer, songwriter and producer known for his scores to the Academy Award® winning documentaries The Cove and Man On Wire, and the sound behind Charity:Water – draws upon an astounding collection of voices, united in a harmony of purpose for the brilliant and expansive ‘Wretches & Jabberers Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’ out in January 2011.
Joining J. Ralph on the album are: Norah Jones, Carly Simon, Ben Harper, Antony, Vashti Bunyan, Ben Taylor, Bob Weir, Devendra Banhart, Judy Collins, Stephen Stills, Scarlett Johannson, Paul Brady, Vincent Gallo, David Garza, Bonnie Bramlett, Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Lila Downs and Leah Siegel.
The album kicks off with a plaintive, Freewheelin’ style performance from J. Ralph, singing “I don’t need your pity” and is soon joined by a complement of collaborators, including the unmistakable Norah Jones on “Change is Gonna Come,” and Ben Harper, who lends raw emotion to “More Like You,” singing “I can’t speak / but I need you to listen.”
“To me the story is about finding a voice, for those who’ve suffered so long without one of their own,” says J. Ralph, referencing the inspiration for the album’s 20 songs (all of them written or co-written by J. Ralph) borne from the namesake film by Academy Award winning director Gerardine Wurzburg. Wretches and Jabberers chronicles the global journey of a pair of men with autism, Larry Bissonnette and Tracy Thresher, who set out to demystify their disability and reveal its intense isolation, ultimately demonstrating that “Autism is not abnormality of the brain as much as abnormality of experience,” per Larry.
But the musical journey that created the soundtrack is equally compelling, spanning multiple continents and iconic stars from five decades, in what’s likely the most impressive gathering of talent in recent times. J. Ralph saw the subjects of the documentary as strolling minstrels going from towns to continents, a parallel to folk music, and soon Ralph’s journey became a modern day road story of its own.
Everyone J. Ralph reached out to was moved by the experience of the film’s subjects. It started with a couple of phone calls to Ben Harper, and Scarlett Johannson, whose rich, smoky vocal evokes a 1930’s Paris nightclub on “One Whole Hour.” The stomp of “Lying Down Statues” with Devendra Banhart marks the album’s rhythmic climax, while in contrast Bob Weir on “Breaking The Hold” evokes a Workingman’s-era back porch session.
Ultimately the journey brought him to the elder statesmen of English folk royalty. Martin Carthy – a legend to the legends known for penning the first popular arrangement of “Scarborough Fair” – and Nic Jones, whose career was cut short in 1980 due to a tragic car crash, but was inspired to join on “Pretty Words Lie,” his first studio recording in over 30 years, thanks to an in-person appeal.
A gifted artist and songwriter, J. Ralph set out to lend a voice through music to honor those who spent a lifetime searching for a voice of their own. And through sheer perseverance, and perhaps a touch of brilliance, has drawn upon an astounding collection of voices, and an album that stands as a musical masterwork.
The release will debut January 11th as part of an exclusive charity promotion with proceeds benefiting the Autism Society of America and the Wretches & Jabberers Fund of the Institute on Communication and Inclusion at Syracuse University, followed by a wide release, including CD and limited edition vinyl on February 11th.