So here's my second installment of Casual Listening; a weekly or bi-weekly (or more!) thread where I will present some bands/artists that are under the radar or perhaps under appreciated.
Last week I introduced UK rock band, The Kooks. When I first heard them it was like a breath of fresh air. I feel they offer today's rock some much-needed punkishness and good-old flick-your-cigarette grit. But that is for you to decide.
I'm doing a 360 in presenting this week's artist so bear with me. The band is Greyspoke, a jam band via the saturated Burlington, Vt., bar circuit.
Greyspoke (photo courtesy of the band's MySpace page)
I sawGreyspoke once, at a small bar across from the Saratoga Race Course in 2007. I chatted with the lead guitarist, Rob, over drinks following the show and gained a respect for the band as I learned that they work very hard day in and day out to refine their sound and stand apart from their jammer counterparts. Not to mention, a lot of my friends that attended Postdam in Upstate New York know them as the "band next door," the guys that played all the house parties; so I figure I will give them a shout.
Yes, I suppose they would be classified as a jam band; but the modern type: modeled after the Grateful Dead, rather than Phish, mixed with a splash of funk and Americana. From what I understand, the lead singer's dad is a member of the festival staple Grateful Dead tribute (for lack of a better word) band Dark Star Orchestra, which performs GD set lists song-for-song (I've also had the chance to see DSO and it was great). That said, it's evident they take plenty away from the Dead's music, and I've heard them do covers of some very difficult electric Dead songs, but what impresses me is that they have created their own sound while still retaining some of the qualities that made the Dead great.
"In their sixth year as a band, Greyspoke is gaining notoriety in the live music community with a blend of hard rock, funk, jazz and an occasional tangent of psychedelia. These longtime friends have taken the stage at venues, parties, and festivals, from New England to Ohio, upstate New York, NYC, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and up and down Vermont, where all four of the band’s original members grew up and started to write and jam together. This spring they will release their first live album, a compilation of tracks recorded at their fall Nectar's residency. The band is currently finishing up their first studio album, which is due out come late summer/early fall."
I look forward to getting my hands on a copy of their live release. In the meantime, keep on the look out for these up-and-comers.