HEZEKIAH JONES: If You Harden On The Inside

If You Harden On The Inside 2 Cover Art


Hezekiah Jones is A) a promising but as-of-yet untested freshman wide receiver for Texas A&M B) a prehistoric b-side cut by Bob Dylan sometime prior to the Kennedy assassination, composed and arranged the by proto-Beat hipster be-bop preacher/comedian Screamin’ Lord Buckley, based on a poem called “Black Cross” written by (swear I’m not making this up) Paul Newman’s grandfather, about the lynching of a poor black dirt farmer in Arkansas for the high crime of atheism C) the alter ego of Philly-based singer/songwriter Raphael Cutrufello backed by a rotating collective of inscrutable bedroom folklorists, which, together or alone, has released eight albums of idiosyncratic bedroom folk since its inception in 2006. Both A) and B) are discussions for another time that, let’s face it, we’re never going to have. No, the reason we are gathered here today, dearly beloved, to discuss the latest release by the band known as Hezekiah Jones, a typically prismatic one-off called “If You Harden On The Inside.”

“If you harden on the inside you’ll be easy to break,” Cutrelfello’s gorgeous, double-tracked warble warns the listener, as the the piano lurches drunkenly like a Guinness-fueled eulogy at an Irish funeral, tricked out with sleigh bell tambourine, contrapuntal bass, the electro-burble of thrift store synthesizer and the ghostly apparition of singing saw. If, like most Hezekiah Jones’ songs, it is trying to break your heart — well, mission accomplished. All proceeds go to the Women’s Law Project, a Pennsyltucky public interest law center fighting on the side of the angels for the legal rights, health and safety of women and girls and that’s a cause that anyone’s who’s ever had a mother can get behind. So go HERE and give until it hurts, and then give some more, because, as the song goes, “what’s the point of having all the world if your hands are so small?” –JONATHAN VALANIA