The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project is a tribute initiative that was launched after Cypress Grove, one of
Pierce's musical collaborators, cleaned out his loft following the musician's passing—Cypress Grove uncovered a collection of three songs
that had been recorded onto a cassette marked, "JLP Songs". Cypress Grove subsequently realized that the recording was from sessions that he had
worked on with Pierce for an album project that they had been planning—the album was originally slated as a country-style album but eventually
transformed into a blues recording. The sessions were recorded with acoustic guitars in Cypress Grove's bedroom, using a "boombox" device. The
three songs were named "Ramblin' Mind", "Constant Waiting", and "Free To Walk", with further material uncovered over time to support the tribute
To enlist the support of other artists, Cypress Grove initially attempted contact through the respective Myspace sites of particular artists,
including Lanegan, and the project progressively evolved, as other artists, such as Isobel Campbell and Jim Sclavunos, agreed to contribute. The
discovered recordings were too rough to release and Glitterhouse Records, the label responsible for releasing the recordings of the project, has
This would have been impossible without Digital technology, with artists adding their parts all over the world - London, Melbourne, Glasgow,
Barcelona, Los Angeles etc. Once word of the Project started to get out, more material became available through family and friends. Jeffrey's old
friend Phast Phreddie Patterson provided a copy of a home made cassette recording he made of Jeffrey doing 'My Cadillac' and 'St.
Mark's Place', which were actually pre - Gun Club recordings. Also, Cypress Grove was able to obtain the two inch master tapes of some song
ideas they had recorded at the end of the "Ramblin' Jeffrey Lee" sessions.
In 2010 The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project launched We Are Only Riders, the first of a series of four albums featuring Pierce's previously
unreleased "works-in-progress". The album features interpretations of Pierce's work by old friends and collaborators, such as Debbie Harry, Cave,
Lydia Lunch, Mick Harvey and Powers.
The Journey is Long, the second album from The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project, was released in April 2012 and features The Jim Jones Revue, Barry
Adamson, Warren Ellis (The Dirty Three), Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate) and artists from the first album—on the second release, Cave performs a duet
with Harry for a rendition of the song "The Breaking Hands", a song that is also performed by Lanegan and Isobel Campbell on the album, while Tex
Perkins performs together with Lunch on "In My Room". Following the release of the second album, Cypress Grove has explained:
The idea was that, these are not our songs, we merely interpret them... In some cases the artists have had to finish the songs, so there can be no
nonsense about this not being as good as the original version as these are the original versions! It's a musical collective of artists who have
come together to interpret or complete skeletal, unfinished material by Jeffrey. Where possible we have used Jeffrey's contributions, so he
actually appears posthumously on this album. I like to think of it as being like Josh Homme's The Dessert Sessions.
Following the release of The Journey Is Long, Cave agreed to participate in an interview with Gun Club biographer Gene Temesy, who planned to use the
interview in a future book on the history of The Gun Club. During the interview, which was published on the Australian web-based publication Mess and
Noise, Cave disclosed aspects of his relationship with Pierce and first described their initial encounter: "Yeah, I think we went to see Under The
Volcano. And then we retired back to my place. I think Henry Rollins might have been there as well actually. Jeffrey and I sat around and took loads
of drugs and watched Henry do push-ups." Cave then described his perspective of Pierce in further detail:
He had a thing about the Vietnam War, for some reason. He was very well read on the subject. And dinosaurs. He talked a lot about dinosaurs. Dinosaurs
and the Vietnam war, I think, were his two major topics of conversation … and Japanese horror movies ... I mean, with Jeffrey, you pretty much
entered his world when you saw him. His obsessions crawled all over him. But in Jeffrey’s world, sometimes it was very inspiring and illuminating
and other times it was painful and depressing. But Jeffrey did make efforts to stay on top of all that sort of stuff. But I think it was very
difficult for him ... Jeffrey very often didn’t make sense. That was part of his charm. Jeffrey was full of digressions. I think that was very much
part of his character. Jeffrey digressed a lot. One minute he’d be talking about the fall of Saigon and the next minute he’d be talking about the
size of a dinosaur’s brain. But I didn’t care I was just happy somebody was talking to me. You just kind of sat back and nodded and listened ...
But Jeffrey, a beautiful thing about Jeffrey was that he was able to move outside that and connect on some other level to people … I mean, things
like with Luke, my kid, and stuff like that. He genuinely cared about other people. He was very genuine. And you know, I loved him very much. And I
think he was a great songwriter. And had a great unique voice. The way he sung [sic] up high like that and slightly off key was enough to tear your
The third album from the project is Axels Sockets and was released by Glitterhouse Records on May 2, 2014. Contributors include Iggy Pop, Cave,
Harry, Lanegan, Race, Thurston Moore and Primal Scream. Prior to the album's release, Grove stated that it is "the best yet, and having Iggy on
board is such an incredible honour”. Grove also explained that exposing Pierce's music to new listeners is "entirely the point of it [the
album]" and he hopes that a wider audience is attained through the tribute. Axels Sockets opens with a rendition of "Nobody's City", for which
the artists—Pop, Cave and Moore—used an original Gun Club demo recording:
We found the original Berlin demo tapes from the Mother Juno album in 1987. It's funny how sometimes demos can be better than the released
version. So we took those original guitar parts played by Jeffrey Lee and Kid Congo Powers (The Gun Club guitarist) and built a new song. Jim
Sclavunos from the Bad Seeds added drums and Iggy [Pop] and Nick [Cave] and Thurston [Moore] layered guitar and vocals on top. Nick has a great love
and admiration for Jeffrey and it shines through.
Although the project's third and final album, The Task Has Overwhelmed Us, was due for release in late 2012, the schedule was changed after the
release of the second installment. Glitterhouse Records, the label producing the collection, instead released Axles Sockets. The label clarified
that the third album has become the "penultimate" full-length release of the Project, but did not name the final album, or its release date.