The latest release from the “most-experienced Seattle band that few people are aware of” comes out on November 30th. The 7” Green Vinyl of Pedernales (Knick Knack Records) by Seattle’s Dark Blue Rockers GRAVELROAD will not be in stores until mid-November but you can come down to their Vinyl Release Party at the Rendezvous’ Jewel Box Theater on Friday November 30th and hear the band live as they release the recording of tracks they laid-down at Willie Nelson’s Texas studio of the same name earlier this year. Joining GravelRoad at the vinyl-release party will be 2 of Seattle’s finest raw musical acts – NightTrain & Lonesome Shack.
Marty Reinsel, GRAVELROAD’s drummer and 1/3 of the band’s nearly-decade-old incarnation, spoke about how this recording came about. “Both the tracks and the relationship with the Pedernales studio are rooted in our history over the last 5 years of so.” With regards to the tracks, the side A song, “Monkey with a Wig,” is an original one that band members Kirby Newman and Stefan Zillioux started working on many years back and the Side B track, “See That My Grave’s Kept Clean” is a traditional by Blind Lemon Jefferson (1927) that the band got to playing at the encouragement of KEXP’s Greg Vandy for a live tribute show for the Harry Smith Anthology series a few years back.
Reinsel continues, “The basis of the relationship with the Pedernales Studio – definitely the finest recording studio I’ve ever set foot in, let alone recorded in – began late one night about 3 years ago” after a show supporting nonagenarian Mississippi outlaw blues man T Model Ford. “I met Jacob Sciba, Willie’s Lead Studio Engineer about 3am after a show at Emo’s in Austin, he appeared out of nowhere and we hit it off from the start …. He’s been coming to all of our shows in Austin for the last few years.
“Earlier this year we are out on tour playing a dive bar in south Austin on a Saturday with 1 day off to follow. Jacob invited us to Pedernales on our free day, told us to set up & had us treat it just like another live show on tour. Since he knows that room inside and out, he had us set up and we just played – it was almost too easy! We did more tracks than just the one on the 7”, but we were happiest with these 2 for this special release. I’d always wanted to do a 45 RPM but we simply hadn’t yet. When Joe Johnson of Knick Knack Records heard the tracks, he said it had to be released on Green Vinyl … we all agreed. Everything about this seemed like it was the right thing to do. It was the easiest and greatest recording session for us yet and, of course, a recording at Willie’s studio had to be on green vinyl.”
GravelRoad is not planning a full tour for the release of the Pedernales 7”. The band will instead focus on the recording of their next album, due out in late-spring 2013 and focus on touring behind that release. In the meantime, the band will be playing select shows in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, touring local psychiatric hospitals and mental health facilities – a hobby of the band’s, says Reinsel: “We love the reception we get there … it’s a lot more real than select shows where people are reluctant to let loose, ya know.” GravelRoad will be continuing full touring in 2013.