The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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February 21, 2014

Arresting composition: Jordan Carr reinvents himself on stage

Former Mankato resident playing Savoy concert

When an 8-month jail sentence derailed the release of Jordan Carr’s debut solo album, he had plenty of time to plan his comeback.

Sitting in his Martin County Jail cell, Carr filled three notebooks with ideas and plans for his musical career after his release. Though he got out of jail in 2013 and has already released his debut effort (self-deprecatingly titled “Reinventing the Dumbass”), Carr said he still reviews those notebooks every now and then to refresh his ambitions.

“For those eight months, I recited every song over and over in my head,” said Carr, who will play the songs from that album during a performance 10 p.m. today at Savoy. “I had a lot of time to think.”

The saga began several years ago when Carr and members of his former band played a gig in Blue Earth. After drinks at the bar, band members went to a house party where it became apparent they had talked with the wrong girl at the bar. Somebody pushed Carr from behind; in retaliation, Carr smashed a beer bottle over the perpetrator’s head.

Though Carr left before police arrived, he received a phone call two years later saying he was to appear in court on a series of assault charges. His lawyer advised that he would be afforded no breaks and Carr descended into a morass of depression and fear. Three days before he struck a plea deal, Carr finished writing the songs for his album.

“It was a strange, dark period,” said Carr, who attended college at South Central College. “I was roaming around Mankato in the dark ... nothing but booze, drugs and lots of recording.”

Upon his release, Carr immediately set out to finish his record, enlisting the help of fellow Mankato musicians to mix, master and edit the final production. The result is a poetic, if brooding, mixture of self-loathing, excess and abuse that is authentic as it is arresting.

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