Colin Gawel
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Colin Gawel

Columbus, Ohio, United States | INDIE

Columbus, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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"Why Colin Gawel Is Rewriting the Book of Rock"

Few Columbus musicians are as well known as Colin Gawel. A spitfire on the scene for more than two decades as frontman of Watershed, he’s now also a solo artist. And a small business owner, husband, and father. And with his newly created “Rock & Roll Stimulus Plan,” he’s becoming somewhat of a sage, inspiring other musicians to shun big labels, demand earlier set times, and replace full-length albums with EP’s. He’ll release his second EP, “Superior,” at the Rumba Café on Friday night.

Colin launched his acoustic-guitar-driven solo career last May with the release of the EP “Chemotherapy.” He knew that the music industry was changing and wanted to evolve in a way that made sense. “I’m going to be playing music my whole life,” he said. “When I play, I want it to count.” So he began pondering new ways of recording and releasing material. His first conclusion was that the era of full-length albums is over. He’d rather release an EP every six months than an LP every couple of years because it alleviates pressure, enables him to release a steady stream of content, and lets him focus on smaller amounts of songs at a time. He experienced resistance from several music industry friends, but if there’s one person who’s unafraid to be a pioneer, it’s Colin. Major label tyranny is over, and there are no longer gatekeepers wedged between musicians and listeners. “It used to be such a struggle to make your music available,” he said. “Now you don’t need to have albums in every store if you’re on iTunes.”

In addition to playing music, Colin owns a coffee shop in Upper Arlington and is an active family man. Balancing so many different responsibilities forces him to be vigilant about managing his schedule. Several musicians nowadays juggle performing with full-time jobs and families, but he feels like it’s all part of the process. He also believes that the stigma of aging will soon begin to disappear. “Somehow, people think that artistically you’re not as good as you were when you were young,” he said. “That’s asinine. It’s not like painters or writers get worse over time. I think people use age as a copout. If you’re committed to what you’re doing, you can draw on all of your experiences.”

An impressive lineup of Columbus musicians has supported Colin’s solo project. His live band The Lonely Bones consists of Dan Cochran, Rick Kinsinger, and Herb Schupp. He enlisted Jeff Ciampa, Jesse Cooper, Andy Harrison, Dave Masica, Megan Palmer, Joe Peppercorn, and Dave Schul as contributors on “Superior,” which was produced by Michael Landolt at Curry House Records. “You can’t ask for a better place to be in a band than Columbus, and if you don’t think that, you just haven’t been around,” he said. “It has everything you could ask for.” Mostly, Colin is excited to plunge into the new musical frontier and to keep recording material. “There are so many more exciting ways to reach people than there used to be,” he said. “It’s kind of like the Wild West. But in the end, all that really matters is that you’re happy with what you’ve created.”

Colin’s EP release show this Friday night will begin at 8:00 with an acoustic set by Keith Jenkins. Colin and The Lonely Bones will go on at 9:30. The $10 cost of admission includes a copy of “Superior.” For more information, visit - Columbus Underground

"Colin Gawel / January 28, 2010 / Jackie O'"

Columbus-based musician Colin Gawel will take on Athens this Thursday night, alongside Cincinnati "trashgrass" quartet Rumpke Mountain Boys. The former member of Watershed and Dead Schembechlers is slated to play an acoustic solo set at Jackie O's at 10 p.m.

Gawel's solo material trades in Watershed's punky edge for more introspective, mainstream rock. His new EP, Superior is due out Feburary 5. According to Gawel, the Athens show will contain tracks from the EP, other solo tunes, acoustic version of Watershed songs and maybe a few covers.

"This is a side of me that I've never been able to show," Gawel said, in reference to going solo. "What's the point of doing something on your own if it's gonna sound just like what you did before?"

After being in Watershed for about 20 years, going solo has forced Gawel to essentially start over. He plays at much smaller venues that he did while opening for Hootie and the Blowfish and Insane Clown Posse (in case you were wondering, the Guiness Book of World Records doesn't have a category for oddest two bands to have opened for).

Gawel also reaches out to fans in the musical equivalent of a grassroots campaign. He has foregone the traditional album cycle, saying "the full-length is outdated." Instead, he releases shorter EPs as often as he can. "Each one has its own feel, and [Superior] is very wintery." - - Ohio University Radio

"Comfest: Music, people watching and hugs for hire"


"The Gazebo set from Colin Gawel & the Lonely Bones, on the other hand, proved that Gawel still has hooks to spare, and when he’s not sharing frontman duties in Watershed, he can lead a band on his own just fine." - The Other Paper


Superior (Curry House, 2010)
Chemotherapy (Curry House, 2009)
Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust 2 (IDOL, 2007)
The Fifth of July (IDOL, 2005)
The More it Hurts the More it Works (IDOL, 2002)
Star Vehicle '98 (Thundercreek, 1998)
Star Vehicle (Thundercreek, 1997)
Twister (Epic, 1995)
Twister & Other Low Budget Storms (B Minus, 1993)
The Carpet Cliff (Palas, 1992)
Watershed (Bravo, 1991)



Until this debut solo release, Colin Gawel has devoted his musical talents to writing and performing with Indi-rock stalwarts Watershed, who have a resume longer than Interstate 70 which knifes through Colin’s hometown of Columbus, OH. Teaming up with world class recording engineer Mike Landolt (Maroon 5, O.A.R.) in 2005, the pair concentrated on a completely new sound for Colin focusing more on his weighty lyrics and his earthy vocals and less the bombastic rock approach Watershed had nailed so perfectly in the past. Bypassing conventional rock wisdom, the pair have amassed more than a full CD’s worth of memorable music but will only be releasing the tracks in a single’s format roughly six months apart.