Think Piece – Jeff Karoub Unravels Past, Present Stories on ‘Pieces Break’ Album

Jeff Karoub blends stories from the past and present on his latest album, “Pieces Break.” Photo by Joe Alcodray

For Jeff Karoub, past stories shed light on the present day.

The Dearborn rhythm-and-roots acoustic singer-songwriter believes historical people, places and pieces holistically define and shape society today.

“When I read this quote, it really kind of summed up what this was all about, and it was this Kansas journalist named Roy Wenzl, and he was talking about what he learned from his father. There’s just this great essay about it, but the quote I love is, ‘The ground beneath our feet is filled with the bones and the stories of millions of creatures that came before us,’” Karoub said.

“He talks about how we all go through our lives sleepwalking and missing what’s happening and not thinking about the people who came before or the places that have come and gone. Here, we live in this town where Motown rose and then relocated, but lots of musicians stayed and kept making music, but the world wasn’t necessarily hearing them anymore. I’m grappling with the past, but I also definitely want to be very much living in now and making sure I don’t miss anything.”

Karoub’s viewpoint of past meets present serves as a core theme throughout his latest and fourth Motown-made folk album, “Pieces Break,” which dropped in November.

Piecing Together ‘Pieces Break’

“Pieces Break” album artwork

In a sense, the album references timeless symbols of Midwestern life – tires, bells, barns and cities – and reminds people to reflect on how far they’ve come. Each track beautifully stands alone, yet collectively represents a certain musical point in time.

The album’s heartfelt title track wraps listeners in vibrant acoustic strums and vintage Hammond B3 organ chords while whisking them into a poetic reverie – “Sometimes the pieces break/In such perfect shapes/They’re better left apart/What does the water wash over/And what does it forget/If I was never here and we never talked, would it matter much?”

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