Grifters & Shills is high energy roots music, featuring vocal harmonies, guitar, banjo, percussion, harmonica, mandolin, and bass. Grifters & Shills writes and performs timeless music with deep ties to the past and a very assertive outlook on the present.
They are moved by real things, and they want you to be as well.
Grifters & Shills was formerly known as the Houston-based duo Westbound. They released their latest album Now & Then on May 19, 2012. They have been on constant regional tour in the Southeast U.S. in support of it, and in support of their first album Blackjack Road. The band members share an extraordinary musical chemistry. In this ever-evolving configuration, John Stoll plays acoustic guitar, banjo, resonator guitar and harmonica, sings backup vocals, and kicks the hell out of a very unique and crowd-pleasing stomp-box. Rebecca Ferguson holds the audience captive with a versatile voice suited for everything from nasty blues to sweet serenades. They are on two-week tour in the midwest in August of 2012.
Their latest album, Now & Then, is their respect album. It’s full-length, 15 songs, and has the songs that helped them find their place in the continuum of independent roots music. It was recorded, produced, published and released independently.
Their first album, Blackjack Road, is impossible to categorize, it is a journey through the dust-bowl fields of West Texas Americana, the unstoppable energy of Southern stomp-box blues, the soft touch of a tender folk song, and the blistering heat of backroads hammer-down outlaw country… A high-energy combination of alt Americana and raunchy blues, mixed with a stubborn mule that’s been a little too deep in the whiskey.
The band draws from an extensive songlist, playing greasy blues, Americana, folk, roots and outlaw country. Westbound has a distinctive and signature style, and always brings tremendous energy and honesty to stages large and small.
Their albums Now & Then and Blackjack Road are available at shows, on this website, on iTunes and on Amazon. They’re also streaming on the internet-radio site Pandora, and are published by the Houston-based independent record label 44 Stone Productions.
Grifters & Shills can be heard playing on left-end-of-the-dial radio stations all across the country. The band also works with the Arts Institute of Houston, providing music for their Audio Production program, and has been featured in Musician’s Friend advertisements in Guitar Player, Mix, Electronic Musician and Modern Drummer magazines.