Capitol Hill Country Blues
Capitol Hill Country Blues is the sixth studio album from GravelRoad. The album was recorded and mixed by legendary engineer Jack Endino in late 2015 & early 2016.
GravelRoad’s mix of driving rhythms and heavy guitar sounds range from minute-long fits of angst to slow and methodical psychedelic tracks. “Rabbit Run” and “Rather Be Lonely” give followers a sense of the familiar from the veteran band. Conversely the band pushes boundaries on Capitol Hill Country Blues songs such as the Krautrock-inspired instrumental “Green Lungs” and the album’s finale “I Feel High”, a stunningly beautiful solo acoustic track.
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American Standard Time had this to say about the album:
“Gravel Road blues is big beat music, a deceptively Southwestern sound made right here in the Northwest, a fiercely pioneering outpost where we quarrel with money like some crazy lover, and make our last civilized goodbyes before heading into isolated Northern frontiers. “Backyard” and “Rather Be Lonesome” are roadhouse ready boogie down jams that put a dip in the hip and a shimmy in the shoulder. CHCB simmers on the drone of the rhthym section until the album reaches a boiling point. By the time you get to “One More Dollar” the lid’s done blown off the damn pressure cooker, the ceiling splattered in hot shit, but you could give a damn because you’re struttin your ass off in the living room high on the heat of cracklin electric riffs. “Rabbit Run” might be the finest blues Gravel Road ever done played. The nearly six minute long epic turns a simple phrase into a psychedelic blues journey with methodical electric guitar riffs, solos, and foot stomping drums.
As they’re wont to, Gravel Road puts blues riffs on the elastic of time and not only stretches backwards, but forward into new ground, like on the intensely weird “Song The Darkness”. A futuristic blues muffled in fuzzy ribbon mic vocals, wandering, dreamy guitars, and that thudding, droning, back line. This is northwestern music: comfort sounds that you can wrap yourself in like the familiar grey skies; made by folks who huddle into studios slightly bigger than hallways outside the rain and grind out filthy albums to scare away the gloom. “Green Lungs” is completely weeded out with a krautrock inspired trip that speeds up and agitates the blues. The album comes to rest on slide guitar and finger-picked “I Feel High”. As you should. Gravel Road hits the road this fall playing a bevy of dates and they’re in rare form, rugged, gristly, and bluesy as hell.”
~Sean Jewell, American Standard Time