2016 – Capitol Hill Country Blues (Knick Knack Records)
2015 – Weavin’ b/w Flesh and Bone 7 inch vinyl single (Knick Knack Records)
2014 – El Scuerpo (Knick Knack Records)
2013 – The Bloody Scalp of Burt Merlin (Knick Knack Records)
2012 – Pedernales 7 inch vinyl single (Knick Knack Records)
2012 – Psychedelta (Knick Knack Records)
2011 – Taledragger, T-Model Ford with GravelRoad (Alive Records)
2009 – Ladies Man, T-Model Ford with GravelRoad (Alive Records)
2008 – Shot The Devil (Uncle Larry’s Records)
2004 – GravelRoad (self-released)
On October 8 in Europe and November 14 in the US, GravelRoad is releasing a new 7 inch vinyl record consisting of 2 tracks (Weavin’ b/w Flesh and Bone) that were recorded in 2014 during the El Scuerpo Sessions. The release of this 7 inch record coincides with their European tour that starts on October 8 in Amsterdam and with a tour home-coming show at The Tractor Tavern in Seattle on November 14. The songs on this record are not only stripped to the bone, but also among the weirdest recordings by GravelRoad to date. Dealing with themes of public indecency, intoxication, tracheotomies, and cannibalism, they are truly covering some new lyrical territory here while staying true to their hill country and heavy blues-rock roots. The extra crunchy guitars and saucy vocals backed by a rhythm section dripping with salty, smoky and brawny juices will make you hungry for more.
The Obelsisk had this to say about the upbeat “Flesh and Bone” – “among the happiest songs I’ve ever heard about cannibalism”.
The album was engineered by Brian Nelson at Elliot Bay Recording Co and was mixed by Jack Endino at Soundhouse in Seattle.
Rick Fisher did the mastering at RFI. It features two guest vocalists, Andrew Chapman (Princess, The Keeper) on DD Amin, and Lisa Kekaula (The Bellrays, Lisa & The Lips) on the Junior Kimbrough song, Lord Have Mercy. The album art is by Kyler Martz.
“It’s a little like what John Lee Hooker may have sounded like in Black Sabbath”
– Patrick Wells, Classic Rock Blues Magazine
2013 – The Bloody Scalp of Burt Merlin (Knick Knack Records)
A Northern Howl– GravelRoad kick down the doors with their fourth album The Bloody Scalp of Burt Merlin
In the heart of the Mississippi Delta, where the Robert Johnson thing happened, the Muddy Waters thing happened, John Lee Hooker… where that beloved and damned blues took shape, there’s a cherished celebration of the authentic– an annual Juke Joint Festival. You can walk into Red’s, (maybe they’ll shout “white people!” like they did when I visited, maybe they won’t), and you can watch women dance without a blush to heavy-beat blues. History still lives there. If you were there in 2013, you saw a huddle of unassuming, weary white dudes get up with a couple Gibson’s and blow the doors down, side by side with the progeny of Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside, and with their good friend T Model Ford.
GravelRoad are the worn down white dudes who can play the holy shit out of the heavy beat blues– the swung bass beat style that you hear from the acoustic Delta recordings of Clarksdale to the electric work of the Hill Country near Oxford (where the bass drum kicks like a hip bone, sometimes pausing just enough to get the groove into it).
We watched the band develop from DIY blues fans with their 2004 self title release and their 2008 release Shot the Devil, then their apprenticeship with T Model Ford– across 60,000 miles of touring, across the US and Europe, across two fantastic records, The Ladies Man and Taledragger. When they dropped Psychedelta, I felt I got it. The band was looking for a new angle, a new take on blues. They’d studied up and now they were striking off on their own. The ten tracks on that album are thick, emotive, consistent– I think Cough Syrup Stomp would be an accurate description– though maybe people who’ve led cleaner lives wouldn’t use that term. Classic Rock Magazine called it an album of the year.
Well, shit. If that was album of the year, Classic Rock Magazine is going to lose their minds over GravelRoad’s fourth full length release, The Bloody Scalp of Burt Merlin. I’ve been blown away by it from the day they stepped up on stage in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle and belted out the inaugural track, “The Run.” 60,000 miles of touring has an effect. To see Stefan Zillioux and Jon Kirby Newman lay down the weave of guitar work, then sing the doubled lyrics as effortlessly as a breath… I was stunned. I knew they were blues musicians, I didn’t think they could integrate the 60s Brit-Blues harmony more flawlessly than Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
The Bloody Scalp… is full of these displays. There’s the doubling harmonies that so few bands can pull off. There are the great riffs– not 70s classic rock riffs, but a jittery, relentless riffs… more Angus Young than Duanne Allmann, as demonstrated on “Monkey with a Wig.” There’s even a aching homage– with the sweet open string partial chord work that blues fans will recognize– to Junior Kimbrough, “Last Night’s Dream”.
Nothing is easy on this album. Nothing is safe. It’s a full bore explosion of a statement. The band even departs from the hip-shake beat that, I feel, locked them into the Mississippi form. I’ve always been impressed with how drummer Martin Reinsel locks down the groove of their sets live. Here, he takes the role of a hard driving trucker, moving beyond that hip shake kick… slamming the band into heavy rock territory with the RPMS climbing on “Med Pass,” then slipping it back down with “Bottom of the World.”
There’s the old story about the crossroad not far from GravelRoad’s beloved Red’s Juke Joint in Clarksdale. A lot of musicians use that cliche now when a band disappears and suddenly shows up lightyears ahead of the pack. I hate to turn to it, but from the second I heard the first song on this album played live, to today, as I’ve been listening to the final master, I’ve got to admit… when something like this comes along, you’ve can’t help thinking of the supernatural.
~Bart Cameron, American Standard Time
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.
Produced by GravelRoad
Engineered by Tom Meyers
Additional engineering by Chris Proff
Mixed by Jim Diamond @ Ghetto Recorders, Detroit, MI
Mastered By Ed Brooks at RFI, Seattle, WA
With 60,000 road miles under their belts as a result of nine tours in three years backing Delta Blues great T-Model Ford, GravelRoad was itching to get back in the studio. For their third album they knew they had to do something different. From the opening track Devil Eyes to the closing Let Me Hold You, Psychedelta seeps into your ears with darker, grittier, deep blues. Aided and abetted by Detroit producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes, The Dirtbombs, The Pack A.D.) to bring the most out of the band’s “tight looseness”, Stefan Zillioux (guitar and vocals), Jon Kirby Newman (guitar, bass, vocals), and Martin Reinsel (drums) swim in a sea of blues infused with heavier rock but not overpowered by it. The blues is always present; the riffs are always there. There are moments when Jon Spencer Blues Explosion comes to mind, but Psychedelta is a tighter approach. They aren’t attempting to blow up the blues, just explore it, push it where it can be pushed. Hard, if necessary.
Shot The Devil – Released 2008 – Uncle Larry Records
I Shot The Devil
self released in 2004
Baby I Love You
Jesus On The Ward