Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Are you ready for William Gruff?

Binghamton EP Coming October 12th 2013

William Gruff
The sound of cowboy boots on cobblestone mix melodically with the rain hitting strewn metal trash cans, a cat’s coat shimmers in the flickering of street lights. Two shadowy men are packing their gear into a car to small as a girl with the Triangle newspaper over her head whisks by looking for an open coffee shop to take refuge in. It’s late, Monday night’s gig is just wrapped up Charlie and Vince already with a late start and are cursing their gear into the car more so than packing it. They’re heading to Syracuse, NY for an early recording session at More Sound Recording Studio.  They each mentally check their road trip necessities, Wawa coffee, Philly pretzels, Righteous Felon Jerky Cartel, bottled water, the latest demos of The Bailey Hounds new album, without a word they open the car doors and jump in.

Pointing the car northward the duo set upon what they thought would be an uneventful journey, and the conversation quickly turned to the recording of William Gruff’s second album, miles passed by as the rain steadily beat down on the windshield and taillights became a less frequent sight. Carbondale, Montrose, Susquehanna, the towns hit the rearview mirror and the rain picks ups. The windshield wipers work feverishly like a goalie blocking pucks.
Welcome to NY, Binghamton five miles ahead, only an hour away from Syracuse sitting in silent excitement thoughts on the jams they would lay down in the morning, a sudden bang and lack of forward momentum brings them to the present.

A thrown rod the engine dies hard, the rain falls harder, the dark seems darker, the equipment in the car seems like more than they started with, they joke about the youtube video of the drummer broke down on the side of the road laying down beats. Its 2:30 in the morning on a dark highway, options consist of either A or B, They opt for B and head out on foot too the off ramp, Binghamton. Like a scene from a horror B movie a neon light flickers in the distance, 2-4-H-O-U-R -G-A-S. Approaching from the shadows like drenched cats they emerge in the glow of the dimly lit office lights where an old man sits at the desk drinking coffee and browsing through a magazine, warily he comes to the door, ‘What are you fools doing out in this weather?’ he asks, hesitant to open the door fully while a dog growls from an unseen room. Charlie and Vince explained their predicament, looking longingly at the dry inside of the office and hot coffee.  The old man opens the door lets them in and points to the phone, ‘Here’s the number of a 24 hour tow service he says handing them a grease covered business card. Dialing the smudged number in hopes of an answer the phone was finally picked up on the other end after numerous rings. Towing, how can I help? A tired voice asked.

Four AM sitting in the cab of the tow truck, hard rain falling, the prospects of getting to the studio on time looked grim. Can the car be fixed? Who too call at this ungodly hour for a ride? The flashing neon of the service station blurred crimson red on the wet windshield, two letters were missing from the sign, it blinked RAGE, RAGE, RAGE. Still soaked to the bone Charlie and Vince climbed from the cab, despairingly wondering what to do next.

Grabbing a cup of coffee at an all-night diner, they were told of a U-Haul center four miles down the road, they opened at seven. Quite a hike for two road weary souls drenched like rats, clothe feeling like twenty pounds of wet paper mache.  Arriving at the U-Haul with two hours until they opened, with no amities to plant a tired ass, they sat in the parking lot, and waited and waited.
Seven AM promptly the doors opened, a man to jolly for this time of the morning greeted them with a hearty hello and a slap on the back, what can I do for you fellows this fine morning? He asked through a big smile. By half past seven the gear was transferred from the car to the rental and the road lay ahead. They arrived at More Sound Studio at 10:00am, they unloaded and recorded until 2am the next morning with no sleep. By early Wednesday, all six tracks were done and vocals were started Wednesday afternoon. Finishing up and playing back their grueling endeavor they all realized that there is some magic captured on the record and it’s the best work they've ever done.

The first single will be released in September with the album to follow shortly after.
William Gruff are; Matt Cusack (songwriter)(NYC), Vince Federici of The Bailey Hounds (Philly), Charlie Heim(Philly), Will Tobin(Ithaca), and Julia Adamy(NYC)

Thier first album had me smacking my head in pure joy and excitement and if the new one is more magical than this one it will be something extraordinary indeed. The first album is available for free on Bandcamp.
William Gruff, a man with no plan. Lives life day to day, taking inspiration from the world around him. His songs attempt to draw attention to the gum under foot: sailors, thieves, and asses. He blows a smoke ring from his pipe, and with every glance to the sky, contemplates the emptiness of daily existence . In the end, he finds nothing but peace and contentment realizing, it really is all about the girl. The one you’d wrestle a barracuda for.

Released 24 October 2011
Music and Lyrics by Matt Cusack
Arranged by William Gruff

Matt Cusack: Bass
Vince Federici: Guitar
Charlie Heim: Drums
Alan Ens: Guitar
Will Tobin: Keys/Accordian
Mathias Minquet: Guitar

Recorded at More Sound Studio
Engineered by Andrew Greacen
Mixed by Steve Christian

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