Grand Old Grizzly
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Grand Old Grizzly

Houston, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Americana

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
04
Grand Old Grizzly @ McGonigel's Mucky Duck

Houston, Texas, United States

Houston, Texas, United States

May
02
Grand Old Grizzly @ Veterans Park and Athletic Complex

College Station, Texas, United States

College Station, Texas, United States

Apr
24
Grand Old Grizzly @ The Raven Tower

Houston, Texas, United States

Houston, Texas, United States

Music

Press


"Grand Old Grizzly"

“There was a time when the city of Houston was filled with the notes of hot country nights, and cold beers at the honky tonk. That era when Mickey Gilley had his own beer joint and even his own brand of cold brew. It made sense for our hometown to capitalize on the imagery that others once had, and some who still do; of life in the Bayou City. However, those times have changed as country music has become more lacklustre and formulaic. Gone are the bands who you felt lived the life they’re singing about only to be replaced by a slicker format of the genre. But, if you’ve been paying attention; Houston has a new crop of country artists who are paving the path for those who live their tunes, and who you believe actually have. One of those artists, is Houston’s Grand Old Grizzly. This four piece has that certain something that reminds you immediately of Rhett Miller and Dale Watson…guys who wouldn’t honk the honk if they didn’t tonk the tonk. On their anticipated new album, “Cosmonada,” Grand Old Grizzly bring those hot country nights back in full swing by stretching their songwriting legs, complete with a mix of rock and traditional folk, making it a sound that’s all their own.

I should preface this by saying that part of the allure to this band, is that they’ve always had a hint of more rock than country to their sound. That being said, I’ve always found that sometimes, no matter how rock you are; you can’t hide what’s inside. That’s what this album feels like…like a band trying to keep it real which means they’re making the songs they make, no matter what you’d call it. The album opens with the very uptempo, and almost Billy Gibbons twang of “Red Hideaway.” The song immediately has a likeable quality where the band pops the tune along with a mix of Southern charm and accurately placed hooks. The song makes you feel like you’re getting away for the weekend to hopefully pass out on the sand of a nearby beach. The band follows this up with the “Being There” era Wilco sounding “The Numbered Streets.” The way that singer Will Thomas’ vocals mesh with the group vocals in the background is almost as magical as the way that the band mixes shades of seventies rock with these country elements like pedal steel and the hook heavy twang of the rhythm guitar. The band slows it down a bit with the third track, “Travelin’,” where they almost emulate Bob Dylan when he started to go electric. There’s a subtle drum beat from drummer Chris Lewis as a piano helps segue the track into an almost Jackson Browne meets Fleetwood Mac styled chorus.

By the time you make it to the barn burning vibe of the quick paced fourth song, “Did She Really?” I would think that you are heavily invested in the album. The band does some of that “leg stretching” by taking the listener on these “little runs” that feel like individual songs on their own. Those little jams bring the band into a whole new light as there’s a multitude of instrumentation that feels like they’re at a modern day hoedown. The fifth track, “Piltdown Hoax” has the feeling of a song penned by Jay Farrar with a hint of nineties alt pop. That’s not a bad thing, as it just adds to the depth of the band as a whole. “Adrenalina” rolls it’s way into a more rockabilly meets fifties sound, that’s more like Link Wray than anything else on the album. This is followed by the singer songwriter opening to “Eyes,” before it goes into a larger scaled song, where the backing vocals from bassist Mark Riddell and guitarist Paul Beebe make the song that much more deep and lush. The band takes a more Western Swing route with the track “The Rundowners,” where there’s such a big band feeling to the song that it almost made me look for a dance partner. A couple of tracks later, the rambling nature of “Yellow Fading Sun” just adds to the strength of these guys as a cohesive unit. The instrumental tune sounds like something that would either open or close a spaghetti western. It almost echoes the Reverend Horton Heat song, “Big Sky,” but in a more soft and subtle way. They follow it with the swingy and old school country vibe of “Grizzly’s Tune.” Though the song is sung in first person, it definitely feels like the track is as group effort based as it gets. There are no less than three to four hooks throughout the song, that could easily become a great way for these guys to open or close out a set.

The band finishes the album with the middle ground stride of the sing-a-long styled “Bitterest of Ends.” There’s a real feeling of finalization to the album with this track, though the straightforward personality of “Cosmonada” demands a second listen. I was definitely pleased as well as surprised with how complex this album was. Though I’ve always been a fan of this band, I can say that there’s definite growth from a band who was already doing things ahead of others in their genre. The way they mix up four or five styles per song is something that makes you revel in their song craft, while you enjoy the album more and more with every listen. You can hear “Cosmonada” live as well as grab your own copy when they perform at Fitzgerald’s on Friday February 20th.”

By: David Garrick - Free Press Houston


"Grand Old Grizzly: CosmoNada"

Translated from Dutch:

This quartet from Houston Texan was already on the shelves with Blackberry Smoke, Leon Russell, Rodney Crowell, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Soulhat etc. The band already received several nominations including "Best New Act" and "Best Folk Americana". Through their performances in clubs and at festivals they have earned a reputation as one of the best live bands in Texas. The band consists of Will Thomas (vocals, guitar), Paul Beebe (guitar, drums, keyboards, vocals), Mark Riddell (bass, vocals) and Craig Feazel (pedal steel guitar). Placing their latest album they Americana mixed with country, rock, folk and surf. It opens with the up-tempo song 'Red Hideaway', followed by 'The Numbered Streets', which is mixed with elements of country rock from the' 70s. On "Travelin 'approach them again Bob Dylan, while" Did She Really? "Goes against it at a rapid pace. Rockabily with fifties touch is again the sound that brings' Adrenalina. On 'The Cattle Owners' they go very swinging furiously, and something verdop is the swinging 'Grizzly's Tune', which is placed on an old school country style. And so new approach of the country genre with various influences.

Patrick Van de Wiele (3½) - Zero Magazine


"NOT TO BE MISSED: THE LOCALS AT FPSF"

"....I would think, that by now you would’ve heard of Houston’s Grand Old Grizzly. If you haven’t, I’ll just note that their 2012 self titled album was one of the best mixes of Americana and country I’ve heard in a long time. Over on the Saturn stage at 12:30, they’ll bring that entertaining mix to the festival. There’s something magical in Will Thomas’ vocals that’s only brought to life in an almost Creedence Clearwater Revival type of way. Check these guys out while you still can....." - Free Press Houston


"The Best Music o0 Free Press Summer Fest"

GRAND OLD GRIZZLY
Sunday, Saturn stage
It was damn good to see a band with cowboy boots at FPSF. Locals Grand Old Grizzly did, and they also sang lines like "say something nasty if you're trying to make me smile" and "she looked like something I could love out of spite" in tones of wistful roots-rock and hard swing. Sold. CHRIS GRAY - The Houston Press


"Grand Old Grizzly's new Album"

“What’s this, a standout Americana outfit who aren’t punk guys trying to extend a stalled out career by abandoning their electric guitars for a pedal steel and Wranglers? Not a chance. What we have here are some fine musicians from Houston who never fronted straightedge bands, had a video on MTV during the punk explosion of the mid ’90s, and who probably cite The Jayhawks as a more relevant band than Social Distortion. bim_ad_daily_vault_print_250

If one had to make a checklist of the imperative hallmarks of a classic Americana album, Grand Old Grizzly’s self-titled effort would surely meet all the requirements. Clever band name: check. Interesting cover art: check. And the music? Well, let me tell you something about how these Texans display their talents.

The first half of the album is chocked full of impressive sounds from the alt-country of “Morning” to the quick country shuffle and vocal harmonies of “The Sundowners.” “Tallahassee” brings in a louder country rock tune that leads into the quiet and dreamy “I Was Thinkin’,” and “Indecision” sounds like the song that Rhett Miller (Old 97′s) forgot to write.

The second half doesn’t disappoint either. “Lament” illustrates how great they are at warm ballads, “Marvelistic Coward Band” unfolds in almost psyche-country vein, and the swift “Approaching Cars” has brushed percussion with a playful Western feel.

Frontman Will Thomas has a knack for vivid storytelling that’s as consistently solid as the musicianship, as the band employ just the right amount of lap steel and banjos among the standard rock band noisemakers. An instantly embraceable meshing of folk, indie, country, rock and roots flavored sounds, Grand Old Grizzly has just as much in common with Tom Petty and Uncle Tupelo as they do newer stars like Drive By Truckers and Lucero. I dare you not to love this album.
Rating: A-”
-Tom Haugen - The Daily Vault


"Grand Old Grizzly"

-TRANSLATED FROM ITALIAN-
Grand Old Grizzly is an exciting new band that comes from Houston, Texas, and that arises in quell'affollata scene and alt-country that has given so much to the American roots music overseas. Will Thomas is their leader, the author of most of the material, vocals, and somehow the one who has fashioned a sound that has points in common with Uncle Tupelo, Old 97's and, at times, Tom Petty more roots. Mark Riddell (bass, keyboards and percussion) and drummer Paul Beebe are the other members, with the addition of this outer disk of guitars and pedal steel Craig Feazel, Hunter Perrin and banjo Dustin Welch, son of the great Kevin, notable guests from the 'specific gravity'. The self-titled album of the Grand Old Grizzly photographer clearly the status of a band that in recent years has made quite a name in the Houston area but now is coming out in the rest of the state and that, according to well-placed hopes, can make a leap and alongside the band's most prominent nationwide. In this regard, the recent 'opening' of concerts Blackberry Smoke may be a good omen to their well-deserved success. Eleven tracks eleven times when alternate country music, rock, western attitudes and almost all the passion for the sounds that gave us the Lone Star State in recent years, a work full of interesting ideas and a songbook and intriguing already varied. From "The Mad Ones," which opens the album in a very positive "Tallahassee", a favorite with fans and not only acoustically "Morning," one of the songs on the banjo starring Dustin Welch to crystalline "I Was thinkin '"approaching the Grand Old Grizzly Texan singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen in particular, there are moments to remember and make it even more attractive disc. "Marvelistic Coward Band" is still led by banjo and strengthened by a pulsing rhythm section, "Approaching Cars" is still stylistically close to REK with its fascinations between the West and the border with Mexico while "The Sundowners" fray with extreme skill songwriters, country music and rock. A musical recipe that of the Grand Old Grizzly certainly already heard and proposed by many before them but presented with great authenticity and passion. It is not poco.www.grandoldgrizzly.com.
Remo Ricaldone - Lone Star Time


"Grand Old Grizzly! New Music With An Old Sound!"

Grand Old Grizzly are a Texan-based band making new music with an old sound. With distinctive music that combines upbeat tempos, downbeat yet cheerfully sung lyrics and addictive melodies, Grand Old Grizzly’s self-titled first album is a rollicking journey through love, loss and life on the road.

One of the best things about Grand Old Grizzly’s music is the raw energy contained within it. The instrumentals are sharp and clear and the vocals filled with emotion; the effect sounding as though the band is playing live in the living room rather than through the stereo’s speakers. This is clever production for a band whose talents lie in their music making abilities, needing no flashy editing or effects to impede upon an already effective sound.

Front man, vocalist and principal songwriter Will Thomas has weaved tantalising stories with his poetic lyrics throughout the album. From songs like the descriptive and lamenting Indecision – “My indecision led to her decision not to stay/She had a large outstanding balance we all knew she’d never pay”, to the reality questioning Sundowners – “Oh darling, what’s it like staring back at me?”, the album is full of nostalgia-tinged vignettes of central-western American life, of cold nights in small desert pubs, long stretches of open roads, wild women and stiff drinks.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Grand Old Grizzly’s music is that all the songs feel positive and upbeat, even if the lyrics are as desolate as can be. Albeit sung with a wry sarcasm and a very much tongue-in-cheek attitude in parts, the best examples of which can be found in popular song Morning and humorous Marvellistic Coward Band, this optimistic quality makes the album demand repeat listens. With playful bass-lines that are so unique they stick in your mind long after the record has finished, quick, light percussion and of course some necessary banjo strumming, each element comes together to create complex yet easy to listen to songs full of life.

The members of Grand Old Grizzly contain a wealth of musical talent and experience between them, a fact made clear on this collection of toe-tapping tunes made great by their complexities. This album is well worth a listen, but be warned: one listen may turn into two, then three, then permanent rotation as this addictive, contradictive, fun and philosophical music just doesn’t let up or let go. - indiemunity


"Grand Old Grizzly! New Music With An Old Sound!"

Grand Old Grizzly are a Texan-based band making new music with an old sound. With distinctive music that combines upbeat tempos, downbeat yet cheerfully sung lyrics and addictive melodies, Grand Old Grizzly’s self-titled first album is a rollicking journey through love, loss and life on the road.

One of the best things about Grand Old Grizzly’s music is the raw energy contained within it. The instrumentals are sharp and clear and the vocals filled with emotion; the effect sounding as though the band is playing live in the living room rather than through the stereo’s speakers. This is clever production for a band whose talents lie in their music making abilities, needing no flashy editing or effects to impede upon an already effective sound.

Front man, vocalist and principal songwriter Will Thomas has weaved tantalising stories with his poetic lyrics throughout the album. From songs like the descriptive and lamenting Indecision – “My indecision led to her decision not to stay/She had a large outstanding balance we all knew she’d never pay”, to the reality questioning Sundowners – “Oh darling, what’s it like staring back at me?”, the album is full of nostalgia-tinged vignettes of central-western American life, of cold nights in small desert pubs, long stretches of open roads, wild women and stiff drinks.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Grand Old Grizzly’s music is that all the songs feel positive and upbeat, even if the lyrics are as desolate as can be. Albeit sung with a wry sarcasm and a very much tongue-in-cheek attitude in parts, the best examples of which can be found in popular song Morning and humorous Marvellistic Coward Band, this optimistic quality makes the album demand repeat listens. With playful bass-lines that are so unique they stick in your mind long after the record has finished, quick, light percussion and of course some necessary banjo strumming, each element comes together to create complex yet easy to listen to songs full of life.

The members of Grand Old Grizzly contain a wealth of musical talent and experience between them, a fact made clear on this collection of toe-tapping tunes made great by their complexities. This album is well worth a listen, but be warned: one listen may turn into two, then three, then permanent rotation as this addictive, contradictive, fun and philosophical music just doesn’t let up or let go. - Indiemunity.com


"Grand Old Grizzly Album Review"

"Texas-based Grand Old Grizzly’s latest release embodies a mixture of styles and influences. From a unique blend of Americana and country to rock & roll, the band’s 11-track self-titled release impresses...All around a standout release" Annie Reuter- Review you Aug 31, 2012


Artist: Grand Old Grizzly

Album: Grand Old Grizzly

Reviewer: Annie Reuter


Texas-based Grand Old Grizzly’s latest release embodies a mixture of styles and influences. From a unique blend of Americana and country to rock & roll, the band’s 11-track self-titled release impresses. Additionally, the well studied musicians featured throughout the album include a member of John Fogerty’s band and one of Austin’s revered live artists further showcasing the band’s staying power.

“The Mad Ones” begins the album with high energy. Frontman Will Thomas’ familiar vocals blend effortlessly with steady guitar rhythms and a driving percussion beat. In fact, the country rock mix at times brings to mind the Eagles.

As “The Mad Ones” comes to a steady halt the twangy “The Sundowners” picks things right back up. Easy to envision being performed side by side during a long set, the distinct country influence is heard with wavering pedal steel and foot-stomping rhythms.

While the majority of the LP has an evident country and Americana influence “Indecision” embodies more of a rock & roll vibe with a heavier bass beat and gritty electric guitar features. The track’s title describes Thomas’ sentiment spot on. Detailing a man’s uncertainty of whether or not he wants to be with the woman he’s seeing the lyrics are clear: “I’m not saying go away/But baby I don’t mean stay,” he sings. Alongside impressive guitar riffs the song stands out.

Next track, “Morning” features deeper vocals and memorable finger-picked guitar and banjo. A tale many can relate to, the song tells the story of dealing with misfortune. “Sometimes we do the things we do and get all lost in the because,” Grand Old Grizzly sings. “Don’t try to save me honey and I won’t try to save you.”

Where “Morning” slowed things down for a bit “Tallahassee” segues into a rollicking good time at the very start of the track. The impassioned song showcases a certain rock urgency that hasn’t been previously heard on the album. With mesmerizing electric guitar riffs and ear-grabbing percussion the four minute track reveals a relatable desperation and strikes a chord.

Ballad “I Was Thinkin’” showcases Grand Old Grizzly’s more sensitive side. The slower track embodies delicate strums of the acoustic guitar and Thomas’ softer vocals. Next song, the rustic “Marvelistic Coward Band” is dark and mysterious. Perfectly finger-picked guitar and banjo provides an interesting take and continues the intriguing storyline.

While the fun “Approaching Cars” prolongs the livelihood of the LP, “Lament” once again demonstrates Grand Old Grizzly’s ability to switch gears. A slower ballad, it talks of a “broken girl” meeting a “broken town.” The desperation is evident throughout the band’s vivid imagery and Thomas’ emotive singing style.

The heart-thumping “Pretty Little Head” kicks things back into high gear with heavy percussion while “Desperate Times” closes the LP and merges steady guitar and percussion with Thomas’ vivid storyline. All around a standout release, it is easy to see why some of the most revered musicians have lent their hands to Grand Old Grizzly.


Review by: Annie Reuter

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars
- Review You


"7 Cool & Cheap Weekenders: Soft Metals, Buxton, Grand Old Grizzly, Etc."

"GOG might become your favorite new local band if you have a hankerin' for Tom Petty and the Old 97's."-Chris Gray Houston Press (Rocks Off) - Houston Press


Discography

Grand Old Grizzly - 2012

Photos

Bio

GRAND OLD GRIZZLY- 

"This four piece has that certain something that reminds you immediately of Rhett Miller and Dale Watson…guys who wouldn’t honk the honk if they didn’t tonk the tonk. On their anticipated new album, “Cosmonada,” Grand Old Grizzly bring those hot country nights back in full swing by stretching their songwriting legs, complete with a mix of rock and traditional folk, making it a sound that’s all their own." David Garrick - Free Press Houston.

GRAND OLD BIO: Grand Old Grizzly exploded onto the Houston music scene with an album of transcendent Americana. The bands self-titled debut is a "top down ride through a cool desert with a stiff drink in hand". The Houston-based quartet melds folk, country, indie, and rock, garnering favorable comparisons to Old 97s, Tom Petty, Uncle Tupelo, Neil Young, and Robert Earl Keen. In its brief time together, the group has generated an impressive local buzz. Grand Old Grizzly has been embraced by respected radio station 90.1 KPFT. Houston Press says "GOG might become your favorite new local band if you have a hankerin' for Tom Petty and the Old 97's." The highly regarded paper recently nominated GOG for the 2014 Best New Act and Best Folk/Americana awards.  They were again nominated in 2015 for 'Best Roots Act' The fall of 2015 found GOG placed on compilation albums by both Texas Music Magazine as track #1, and Maverick Magazine, the UK's leading independent country music magazine. Leon Russell, Blackberry Smoke, and Rodney Crowell all had Grand Old Grizzly playing support when they stopped through Houston to play some sold out shows. The band is comprised talented musicians who have played in nationally recognized bands. Members of the band have played with such diverse and esteemed artists as Katie Stuckey, Mike Stinson, The Small Sounds, and Beetle, among others. 

Grand Old Grizzly is: Will Thomas (vocals/guitar), Paul Beebe (guitar/vox), Mark Riddell (bass/vox), Chris Lewis (drums). GOG has a refined chemistry nurtured from the time its members worked together backing Katie Stuckey. Back then, Will wrote a couple of songs for Katies album The Old States that were well received. During a break from working with Katie, Will informally convened the other guys to jam on his other compositions. Everyone was so prepared. It was wild to sit around for two hours and play my own songs with a band, he says, recalling that first rehearsal as a bandleader and primary songwriter. Will decided to dub the band Grizzly to commemorate a Katie Stuckey tour moment, when emboldened by margaritas Will took to calling himself Grizzly. So, basically Grand Old Grizzly was born from Margaritas.  

Grand Old Grizzly offers up compelling and literate storyteller lyrics with alt-country flavored compositions. The shitkickin hooky Tallahassee is a moving vignette about heartbreak on the road. Sundowners features high lonesome vocal harmonies, quicksilver country guitar filigree, mesmerizing lap steel, and an engaging snapshot lyric approach. "That song is about when I used to live in New York City and go to this Irish bar on my block. Everyone was friends, but there was one couple that never said hi to anyone and was always bickering. Sundowners is how I picture their relationship", he says. Here Wills vocals are plaintive with a congenial twang and his words are achingly beautiful. He sings: "One more glass of wine/A lovers only kiss/Twenty years of dreaming how did we end up like this/And Ill say things like, its hard to say just what I mean/Oh darling, you're as far as Ive ever seen". Other highlights are the breezy banjo-driven Marvelistic Coward Band, a playful poke at every bands self mythologizing, and the dreamy Lament. The album was produced by band members Will Thomas, Paul Beebe, and Mark Riddell at Beebe Gunne Studio and El Casa Del La Studio in Houston, Texas. Though Will is the primary songwriter, the album greatly benefits from each members creative input and the nuanced and telepathic interplay the collective has developed through years of gigging together in various combinations. The album also includes special guest appearances by Hunter Perrin (Thunderado, John Fogerty), Dustin Welch, and Craig Feazel (Small Sounds, Katie Stuckey). Grand Old Grizzly is quickly building a sizeable live following through its blend of fine musicianship and timeless songcraft. The band has gigged extensively around Texas. 

Band Members