When RJ Comer dropped out of music school thirty years ago, he thought that was the end of his dream – but music wasn’t done with him just yet. Three decades later, his dream of becoming a full-time musician was not only re-ignited, but became his reality. He’s released his debut solo album One Last Kiss.
Multi-instrumentalist Shawn Byrne produced One Last Kiss , and fluidly combines various themes ranging from somber moments to happy love songs. The album features contributions from Grammy-winning guitarist Randy Kohrs (Jim Lauderdale, Dolly Parton, Dierks Bentley), fiddler Daniel Foulks (Parker Millsap) and cellist Brian Sutherland . The album moves from joyful moments like “Under a Lover’s Moon,” an upbeat love song co-written with Comer’s wife Deborah, to darker moments like the bluesy title track. “All Over Again” is for those who work hard day in and day out with a smile on their face, putting in long hours for the sake of their families, and humorous tinges weave throughout “Desert Mama” and “Bad Day in Paradise.”
When music school didn’t work out, Comer’s path took a grim turn: years of violence, poverty, addiction, fractured relationships and suicide attempts followed. After a come-to-Jesus weekend in a Mississippi jail, he straightened his life out, worked his way through law school and became a lawyer. Along the way, Comer kept coming back to music, starting a band for fun on the side – one that was eventually signed. He took the opening and stormed back into music. Though One Last Kiss is his debut full-length album as a solo artist, it’s his sixth release since returning to music, including two band LPs and two solo EPs.
Offering insights of a man who transcended hardships few people escape, the songs on One Last Kiss deftly straddle the line between traditional and contemporary Americana and blues. With a ragged edge to his baritone voice, One Last Kiss shows the emotional and experiential range of a man who once only knew how to fight or flee — who slowly learned to live and prosper, and eventually learned to love.
Leaving his former life in Los Angeles behind, Comer now resides in the Tennessee woods with his wife of 23 years and tours throughout the US and Canada. He has played official showcases at SXSW, Canadian Music Week and various songwriter’s festivals.