Greyhounds | 09.17.01 | Velvet Jones | Santa Barbara
I can't stop thinking about the Greyhounds. Their groove is implanted in my head, serving as a perpetual soundtrack. It was a week ago, last Monday, September 17 that they graced the stage of the Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara, introducing their fresh sound to the Central Coast. This LA/Texas-based band seemingly came out of nowhere. Andrew Trube on Guitar and Vocals, Nick Pencis on drums and Anthony Farrel on Keys. This is one thick trio. They create so much texture, unfolding layer after layer of grooves, revealing something much more complex than it seems.
I had only heard the Greyhounds' CD, Waiting for Francis, before seeing them last Monday. I loved it right away as did everyone that I played it for. However, their new lineup is different than the personnel on the album. They are now a tighter unit, minus a bass player, but deeper than ever thanks to Anthony's wicked Keyboard basslines. They set up as close to each other as possible onstage and took the hardcore Monday Night Santa Barbara crowd of around 75 on a journey to a place we love to go.
The Greyhounds are a very special band thanks to their personality. They are a lot more than just three guys up there playing great music. They have a very entertaining quality which is the perfect complement to their remarkable, instrumental prowess. Andrew Trube is a phenomenal leader, putting out some very engaging energy, synching up with the audience and steering the band always deeper in the groove. Besides being an accomplished guitarist, he is one hell of a singer. His unique vocal style fits into the mix so well. There songs have an effortless flow to them that is so new, yet so familiar. These guys are the first young band I've seen in awhile that have a solid vocal presence. A nice change of pace for sure.
One could use the word "groove" over and over while describing the Greyhounds because that's what they're all about. Even within aggressive guitar solos, they were maintaining such commitment to staying in the pocket, the funk was an ever-present force. Their improvisational abilities were showcased in such a smooth, grounded fashion. These simple songs would end up being fifteen minutes before you knew it. They also made up at least one tune on the spot, "The Martini Song," inspired by a couple ladies sipping a
couple of dirty ones up front.
I am not familiar enough with Greyhound's material to mention particular songs, but I know that, in addition to their dance-enducing originals, they did a few classy covers. Jimmy Smith seems to be a huge influence for them, particularly Anthony, who is a monster of an organist in his own rite. They did at least one song by the originator of the funk organ, "Root Down." Anthony was just romancing his B-3, keeping her purring and roaring all night long. He had quite an affair going on with the Rhodes as well. It was so
obvious that it was all coming from the heart.
They also covered the most covered song ever, "Cissy Strut," which was hot and juicy. Nick's drumming was so mesmerizingly funky song after song. These guys were amped to play as this was the beginning of a long tour for them. I can hardly imagine how on fire they'll be by the end.
The Greyhounds played for over three hours and left little to be desired. The new sound system in the Velvet Jones was fat and the red velvet surroundings went along perfectly with the mood. I am stoked to turn on everyone to this band because they are a very refreshing addition to the mix. Check them out at www.ghounds.com. Hopefully you'll have a chance to groove with them in your town sometime soon.
Happy Autumn Greetings,
JamBase Santa Barbara Correspondent
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