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Posts Tagged ‘Everyday Ghost’

 

GR-Album-1400x1400I was overjoyed when Scott Woeckel of Gentleman Road reached out to me and asked if I wanted to hear an advanced copy of their soon to be released EP. I’m not a huge fan of country in general, though that’s been changing recently, but I am a huge fan of Gentleman Road. They are, for me, Alt Country without the Alt. I know, weird way to describe it, but it is what it is. I always get a little early 90’s alt-vibe from these guys and yet, there is not an alternative riff to be heard.

Fireflies & Gasoline is 5 songs of grade A material. From track 1, “Love About Music”, to track 5, “The Trucker”, I was thoroughly entertained and felt as if I was really picking up what these guys were putting down. The musicianship is there and Gentleman Road is a tight outfit. The lyrics were imminently relatable and I could grasp were the band was coming from. Let’s jump in and get a little more in depth. 

Love About Music jumps right in with a quick intro and then is down to business. It has a great beat and a great hook in the chorus. I feel like I’m in a honky tonk listening to a band. I can picture the wooden support posts, the dance floor, and the audience dancing and having a good time. It also features some amazing pedal steel work by Charlie Peterson.

Buick Century keeps the groove moving and I can still see people dancing to it, but it has a more sentimental and nostalgic feel. Gentleman Road really evoke days of a recent past.

Moonshine seems primed for audience sing along with it’s longer flowing chorus. It’s the kind of song that makes me want to sit on my porch with a beer in the sun and just soak it in.

Fireflies & Gasoline slows things down a bit, but fret not. It’s a good time to just groove and enjoy the pedal steel created mood and listen to a beautiful turn of phrase. This song highlights one of the things I also like about Gentleman Road; inventive phrase that immediately evoke an image and a feeling.

The Trucker drives it all home and drives us to the end of the EP. I love the drum beat on this one. It’s more of a classic country boogie vibe than some of the other songs. Also, any song that features the words “18 wheeler” is golden. That’s a scientific fact.

This is a great EP with just the best songs on it. There is no filler. I was left wanting though as I would love to have a full album by these guys. I can only hope that they have enough success to fund a larger project. To that end I highly recommend throwing your money at them, or at least purchase this EP when it’s available. BTW it will be available on VINYL. That’s right. Great songs AND vinyl. You can’t lose.

Give Moonshine a listen here: https://gentlemanroad.bandcamp.com/track/moonshine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gentleman Road is: Scott Woeckel, Charlie Peterson, Moose McMains, Michael Kaufman

Linkage:

https://www.facebook.com/Gentlemanroad

http://www.gentleman-road.com/

https://twitter.com/GentlemanRoad

Gentleman Road was formerly Everyday Ghost. I interviewed Scott from them here.

 

 

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This week we are joined by Scott Woeckel. He is prolific and varied in his pursuits and talents. His answers are incredibly thoughtful and I really enjoy his perspective on one of his goals for his band Everyday Ghost. There is a lot to experience here so let’s jump in.


First, thank you so much for doing this. You have quite a lot going on it seems. I want to ask you about most if not all of it, but first let’s discuss Everyday Ghost. Can you tell me how EDG got started?

SW: My pleasure. and thank you for having me! EDG got started after I got back from Seattle in February 2011. My good friend and long time musical associate Wood Fowler had passed away suddenly up there and I just got to thinking about where I was going with my music life and everything else you think about when a death hits so close. So, what had originally started out as a recording project turned into a full blown live band when Charlie Peterson found me on Craigslist looking for a pedal steel man. As fortune would have it he’s one of about two of the truly great pedal steel players in the great city of Los Angeles. He’s a complete source of inspiration, and the first day we met, we played EDG’s first gig on a Saturday night at T-Boyles in Pasadena entertaining a rugby team as a duo. Add in a couple of extremely talented guys on drums and bass, and we started booking shows around some of my old haunts.
How long have you been together?
SW: About a year and a half now.
What’s the reception been like?
SW: It’s been mostly really good. There’s always gonna be bad gigs, and clams, and with a new band it’s a rocky road sometimes to go through those growing pains to get to the really good stuff. But I don’t think we’ve played a show yet where someone hasn’t come up to us and said they really liked this or that tune. I think the biggest compliment has just been people coming back to hear us play again!
What’s your song writing process?
SW: It’s eclectic. Whenever I write a song though I hear a soundbite of Thelonius Monk running through my head which says, “Keep it simple as possible, so people will dig it.” Aside from trying to keep things simple, I’ve got songs that have started from all elements of music…a melody, a chord voicing or progression, a rhythm, a lyric. I could start writing a song from the ending just about as well as the beginning, or the middle, so long as I keep it simple and the song I wind up with at the end holds together as a whole and conveys to me what I want it to convey. The best ones are always fast, they come together in a day or two at most…the ones that tend to be unsalvagable train wrecks are usually the ones I toiled over for a week or more. So these days I just try to capture the inspiration when it’s there and capture as much information as possible while it’s there.
Any plans to record?
SW: Yes! Lot’s of plans to record. I still have a record to finish, and I’ve written a lot of new material I’d like to be on it, so I’m hoping to get back into the studio in the coming months and start tracking!
What is your goal with EDG?

SW: A difficult one to articulate, but I think the main goal driving EDG is to foremost and primarily acknowledge that we are upright, and sucking air. Therefore, as musicians, we must play…regardless of any particular material goal, such as to be rich and famous. I think a lot of the music we’re doing has the power to touch hurting souls, and maybe even lift them up and let them know they aren’t alone. And if we can achieve that through this music, I would consider that a goal worth pursuing.

Let’s switch gears a little. Tell me about the work you’ve been doing with Brandon Schott. 
SW: I’ve had a great time working with Brandon in support of his awesome new record “13 Satellites”. Brandon is an inspiring and unique talent, and I’ve been honored to work on a few videos with him and just be a part of it. Brandon has a way getting things in motion and done, and just seeing how hard he’s worked for so many years and through so many challenges, I hope any small part I’ve played will help him toward the recognition for his art, which he deserves.
What have you learned from that?
SW: I think I’ve learned it really takes an army working behind you these days if you expect to make any kind of major impact or dent in today’s musical landscape. There’s just so much stuff you have to do to simply keep from being forgotten about from one day to the next. It takes care, marketing, and a lot of financial planning, and the help of a lot of good friends to put a solid record into contention out there on your own.
What is the Moonflower work you’ve been doing?
SW: Moonflower is a really cool studio project that has spawned into all kinds of things. That band is the brainchild of James & Martine Dryden, they wrote all the material and have been kind enough to let me play a little double bass and guitar on a few tracks, as well as a little tenor sax. James is one of the best audio mixologists out there, and the record “Hey Daddy’O” is done, it’s in the can, and hopefully will be released very soon.
One of my favorite songs you wrote is “Small Town Love.” How did that song come about?
SW: Thanks! That’s a really personal tune, I wrote it after what amounted to a realization that I was no longer the small town boy I used to be and recognizing I had become alienated from that whole world. I come from a place where very few people have had the opportunity to truly pursue their dreams, and I tried to reconcile all those conflicting feelings in that song.

Small Town Love

You play guitar and sing, but you also play saxophone. How did you first get started playing sax?
SW: Well, my guitar playing is highly inspired by horn players, as opposed to guitar players. So I was always on the look out for a sax to try, and I did pick up the clarinet in college which gave me a little taste of the world of winds, and even studied and played with Harold Land for a few years, but I was poor, so I didn’t really get an opportunity to try a sax even. So a few years ago I picked up a sax, and started teaching myself to play, and the rest has just been expensive. Saxophone is an expensive habit. And it’s extremely addictive, and challenging, and worth every moment. I will say I’ve always held saxophonists in high esteem, but having walked in their shoes, I have an immense new respect for the instrument and even more awe when it comes to the great masters.

“I think a lot of the music we’re doing has the power to touch hurting souls”

What attracts you to jazz?
SW: Freedom. It’s one of the few genres of music that demands a certain sense of spontaneity, sophistication, rhythm, and musicality…and if you can put all that together in collective or individual fashion you can travel to some really amazing places. And not just musically, there is a space in jazz thats akin to “the zone” you feel in any great athletic sport, but it’s bottomless, and boundless. There are moments in jazz when you are playing from that space where you couldn’t play a wrong note, in the wrong spot, at the wrong time, if you tried. Having experienced that space, and knowing it’s there is a very spiritual connection, and I feel it most strongly expressed through the jazz idiom. That being said though, I think the space is the same for all music. In other words, I believe you can still be playing “jazz” in that spiritual-spacial-zone, even while reading down a Beethoven sonata for instance. And I think it’s that knowledge that allows me to move fairly freely through various genres of music, and instruments without ever feeling stuck, or committed to playing, say, one style of music.
Check out Scott’s sax skills: Stella By Starlight
Are you able to tell me anything about the new Plasticsoul record?
 
SW: All I can say is a few of the tracks that will be on that have been stuck in my ear since the first time I heard them live. Plasticsoul is my favorite LA band, and if you’ve heard “Peacock Swagger”, I imagine the new Plasticsoul record will be similar, but I believe it goes to 11. That’s one more.
What are your hopes/plans for the future as far as your involvement with music?
SW: For the most part to just keep doing it. I’m never bored, and music could easily occupy all of my time. I think the most important thing for me is to keep learning, searching, growing and expanding my abilities and keeping the music as fun as possible. Although I’ve been involved in the music industry for over three decades now, I still feel like a beginner. There’s always something new to learn, and it’s amazing the places music can take you. You just never know!
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream and why?
SW: Strawberry, and I have no idea!

Thanks again to Scott. Remember to follow Everyday Ghost at https://www.facebook.com/EverydayGhostBand

Also check out The Tremors, one of Scott’s previous bands. Country, rootsy, folky, bluegrassy, alt-rock about guns, drivin’, drinkin’, & heartache: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tremors

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