's very first release
. An EP recorded live
in August 1993, and released November that year
by Columbia Records
. Recorded in a cafe
in New York
, located at 122 St. Mark's Place
in the East Village
. Shane Doyle
was the owner. The place is now closed
Sin-e means "that's it" in Gaelic.
Jeff performed at Sin-e and the other small venues so much in order to "develop myself and get grocery money." The laid-back atmosphere provided him with a place to hone his performance skills, where he felt comfortable and was able to explore his talent and learn his trade. Apparently, he also sometimes washed the dishes.
The four-song EP was recorded by producer Andy Wallace, who also went on to produce Grace. The recording gear was set up in a small pub two doors down, and the actual EP was whittled down from a marathon 3 hour set. It provided plenty of examples of the lessons Jeff had learned about including the audience. At some stage during the show, someone yelled out a request for something by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, as if in some sort of challenge. Buckley happened to be a big fan of the Pakistani singer and rose to the challenge, launching into a monologue about his hero, as well as a generous sampling of Nusrat's music.
As mentioned above, the EP consists of four tracks; 2 covers and 2 originals. All tracks feauture only him and his guitar (a Fender Telecaster), so the atmosphere is a lot more folky and less rocky than his studio albums, but still remains intense and passionate.
The first track is Mojo Pin, and is a spare, gritty version of the song which later appeared on the album Grace. Because it is only guitar and voice, the big rock dynamics towards the end of the song are missing. However, Buckley puts his heart into everything he sings and it is still a very stirring rendition of the song that in its own way is just as good as the one on Grace.
The next original, also featured on Grace, is Eternal Life. In many ways I prefer this version to the one on Grace. The delivery of the lyrics is a lot clearer to me, and backed up by a nice, warm guitar sound. Jeff delivers his pleas for peace and love with passion.
A cover of Edith Piaf's Je n'en connais pas le fin (My Lost Melody) comes next. Buckley sings it in a mixture of both the original French and English. Dainty melodies are supplied by Jeff's shimmering, floating guitar, and it is sung in an emotive way.
The Way Young Lovers Do is a 14-minute cover version of the Van Morrison classic. It is a gutteral, heartfelt rendering. Buckley lets rip his vocal chords during improvised scatting on a few verses. This is not the same style of music he would later come to make on Grace, but it is still highly charged and emotional, with some cool guitar work.
Overall, the fact that it is just him and a guitar allow a lot more of the subtleties in his guitar work to come through. He is an excellent player, his guitar carries a very nice, full and warm tone thorughout the recording and it is very interesting to hear his work in such an intimate atmosphere, where the only thing that carries him is his voice which, as always, is truly amazing.