MUSIC: IN A SAD STATE OF GRACE

DROWNING CLAIMS SINGER JEFF BUCKLEY AND STILLS ONE OF FOLK ROCK'S MOST PROMISING YOUNG VOICES

When he decided to escape the muggy Memphis heat with a quick plunge into the Wolf River, singer Jeff Buckley had every reason to feel buoyed by good fortune. At 30 he was signed to Columbia Records--the home of Bob Dylan and Miles Davis--and had just settled into a cozy old house in town to begin recording a follow-up to Grace, his powerful 1994 debut. That album, a darkly romantic and stunningly original blend of folk, blues and alternative rock, had earned Buckley a reputation as a superstar in the making, much as Greetings from Asbury Park did for Bruce Springsteen...

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