Graham Wilkinson
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Graham Wilkinson

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Americana Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Living in this Township one eclectic trip"

Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township cobble together an eclectic mix of reggae, country, soul, honky-tonk and hip-hop.

The result is the former Wichitan's band, now out of Austin, plays a catchy brand of danceable American roots music with a real groove.

The sound began to form after Wilkinson moved to Austin a couple of years ago with his band Ffui, a more rhythm-and-blues based rock band. But Ffui, and its more traditional tunes, didn't hold together. He went through a few people before the vibe clicked.

Wilkinson said it's pretty hard to compare his band's music to anyone else. But the vocalist, guitarist, harp player and sometimes trumpet player said it's safe to say the music will be original and fun. "It's definitely something you can dance to," he said.

He said the band is versatile enough to put an album out of honky-tonk country, a record of reggae stuff and a CD of hip-hop things, he said. "It's a pretty nice blend."

The Underground Township quartet features Patrick Hertzfeld on drums (also from Ffui and a member of the Ben Atkins Band), Wayne Dalchau on bass and Mateo Ellis on keyboards.

"Get ready for Mateo," Wilkinson said. "He is funny as hell. He might just bust out a Tenacious D song, you never know."

The band formed after Ffui broke up, and another incarnation dissolved because the fiddler and percussionist left to have a child.

Wilkinson met Dalchau and Ellis at Whole Earth Provision Company, a series of stores the three work at in Austin. The group came together after Wilkinson's management company set up a series of shows that called for him to play with a full band.

"I got together with Patrick, called up those two guys and we sat around playing music. It's been going like that since."

The band already plays fairly regularly in Austin, Denton, Texas, Dallas and Fort Worth. The group played at the Iron Horse Pub late last year opening up for Hayes Carll.

"Our music is really American roots music," Wilkinson said. "It draws on all the different things that are going on in American music."

In addition to playing with the Underground Township, Wilkinson also performs solo shows, having opened several times for Carll, a friend of his from college, and also Alejandro Escovedo.

Wilkinson said that Austin has been a great change of pace for inspiring his music and getting it heard. "Still, it's tough like anywhere else. It's like Hollywood, it's all about who you know," he said.

His music and his band are making good strides, and they are feeling it. "It's just patience, and that's what all of us have," Wilkinson said. "We are all so motivated that in less than a year, we have an album done. And we're already working on the next one."

"It's real cool, man."

Copyright 2006, Times Record News. All Rights Reserved.
- Richard Carter/For the Times Record News

"Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township"

I saw Graham Wilkinson last November, opening up for Alejandro Escovedo at the Cactus Cafe.

He killed.

Absolutely killed. Tore it up. Here's an excerpt from what I wrote last year:
He has an amazing, personal quality on stage, with an utterly distinct, raspy kind of singing voice that is instantly magnetic. The reason I mention him is that he has a huge amount of talent and writes sensational songs, and it won't be long before everyone is talking about him.
It was hard to describe what kind of music he played--sometimes it sounded like reggae, sometimes it sounded like blues, sometimes it sounded like all kinds of other genres--but it was always terrific.

I saw that his new band, Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township, was playing in Austin on Saturday at a restaurant/brew pub called North by Northwest. I thought they'd be good.

I had no idea.

I'm the audience about five minutes before the set is supposed to start. Hell, I am the audience. There are a few other people on the corner of the deck, but they're not paying any attention.

A couple sits down right before they start, tripling the number of people who came to listen to music.

At this point, I wouldn't blame these guys at all if they just slept through the set. It's at least ninety-five degrees on the deck, it's a miserable crowd--I mean, how many people can get motivated in that kind of situation?

So they start playing, and the first song or two are a little flat, which only stands out because Graham seems to really have energy crackling through his music. Even a little flat, they're better than ninety percent of what I listen to, and they're playing in front of essentially three people, so I'm still really enjoying myself.

Then they start gathering energy with each song. Shitty crowd, hot as hell, doesn't matter--they're like a steam train, stoking the boiler, and within about fifteen minutes they are absolutely tearing it up. The energy is just pouring off them. It's electric. It's overwhelming.

And so, for the second time in less than a year, I'm sitting less than twenty feet away from Graham Wilkinson and he is absolutely killing.

The band? They're killing, too. There's an organ (keyboards, actually--Mateo Ellis), bass (Wayne Dalchau), and drums (Patrick Herzfeld). And they're all tearing it up. Every single song. In front of what turned out to be thirty people.

These guys deserve some damned attention.

So here's where I ask for a small favor: please go listen to this band online. I know that you guys could singlehandedly, in one day, exceed the total number of plays the three songs on their Myspace music page have received up to now combined.

Oh Yeah or 1108, which are the top songs on the page, are excellent introductions.

Here's a link to their music page:
Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township.

If you like those songs and want to hear more, there's an excellent 30-minute streaming audio segment where they recently appeared on a local radio station (KUT, which is a legendary public radio station down here). Just go to this page and they're near the top of the archives.

Oh, and I bought six copies of their live CD while I was at the show. One copy's for me, but the other five are for you. Here's the contest question (and it's easily answered by going to the Myspace page I just linked to): name three of the band's musical influences.

Be one of the first five to answer correctly, and I'll send you a CD.
- Dubious Quality Blogspot

"Well, they tore it up again."

Last month, it was a hundred degrees on the deck at North by Northwest. Last night, the entire town was convulsed by the Ohio. St.-Texas game. There were only about a dozen people in the audience (including Gloria and Eli 5.1).

Didn't matter.

These guys don't give a shit if they're playing in front of three people or three thousand. They absolutely tear it up every single time.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check last month's post here. Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township are an Austin band, and they're phenomenal. They're already famous--people just don't know it yet.

When we had the contest last month, all five CD's were gone in less than ten minutes (including one that went to Estonia). So I thought I would have another contest for all of you who didn't win last time. We have five more CD's to give away.

If you'd like to win a CD of the band, here's how it's going to work. Sometime either today or Tuesday, between the hours of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (CST), I'll post the contest questions. And this time, I'm going to give people who listen to their music the best chance of winning. I'm going to post three questions about the songs currently playing on their Myspace Music page.

Sure, you can find lyrics to some of their songs on the Web. But there are some new songs in the Myspace rotation, and I may also ask questions about the music in the songs--not just the lyrics. So if you actually listen to the songs, you'll have a much better chance of winning.

And here's a twist: those four songs on the Myspace Music page get rotated. Over the course of the two days that the contest can happen, one or two songs will probably rotate out. So if you listen to the songs right now, you'll still need to check the page periodically to see if anything new gets rotated into the mix.

The second twist: in addition to the five CD's, which will be awarded to the five fastest correct responses, there will be drawing for all the people (including the first five) who responded correctly within three hours of the contest question being posted. The winner of that drawing wins the game of their choice from EBGames.

Yes, that includes Guitar Hero, if that's what you want.

Here's a small clue: one of the contest questions will probably be about "Oh Yeah," which is just a freaking great song.

Okay, here's the link to the Myspace Music page: Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township. - Dubious Quality Blogspot


Graham Wilkinson & Underground Township
"Yearbook" (Township Records 2009)

Graham Wilkinson "graham wilkinson" (Township Records 2008)

Graham Wilkinson & Underground Township "Graham Wilkinson & Underground Township" (Township Records 2006)

Tracks on Radio in 14 markets:
"Let It Go"
"Boys and Girls"
"Personality Disorder"



Graham Edward Wilkinson was born in 1980 in the small East Texas town of Denison to a Methodist minister father and a speech pathologist mother. He spent his early years moving from one small town to the next and picked up the guitar at age 16, in an effort to mend his first broken heart. Graham finished high school in Wichita Falls, TX and attended Hendrix College, in pursuit of a fine arts and music degree. He decided to take a needed break before graduation and traveled to the Greek islands of Mykonos and Paros located in the Agean Sea where he worked at a diesel jet-engine power plant, mingled among the locals and played his music in the streets. After gaining the life experiences desired, he completed his degree in 2002. He then set out upon another quest and traveled half way around the world to the Micronesian island of Pohnpel, where he volunteered as an English teacher in the local Jesuit school. While overseas, his older brother and best friend Aaron Robert Wilkinson passed away in New York City. By far, his brother’s death was the most difficult thing his family and he have faced. His brothers influence is easily identified in many of Graham’ songs . You see, Aaron was singing and writing in lower east side coffee shops, on the cusp of the Anti-folk scene. Hanging out with the soon to be recognized Regina Spektor, Kimya Dawson, Adam Green from the Moldy Peaches and the guys from The Strokes.

The Strokes went on to dedicate their second album “Room on Fire” to Aaron and all of these musicians continue to make appearances at the
Annual Memorial concert held in NYC every July. Aaron’s death lead Graham back to the “states”. “Had Aaron not passed away, I may never have returned from my volunteer work on Pohnpel, he stated. It was
truly a crossroad in his journey, as he immediately knew upon returning to Texas that he had to move to Austin to make “his music”. The first few years in Austin allowed Graham the opportunities to broaden his musical horizons from leading a punk rock outfit to collaborating on an old bluegrass quintet.

Unable to be pinned to one genre, Graham began developing a lineup of
interchangeable artists known as the Underground Township.
Graham's new album “YEARBOOK” has been well received both locally in Austin and nationally. Radio stations such as KUT and KGSR in Austin have been incredibly supportive of this new album.
"YEARBOOK" features such artists as Alejandro Escovedo (No Depression magazine Artist of the Decade), Hayes Carll (Top played Americana Record of 2009), and Lloyd Maines (Multi-Grammy winning producer/and father of Natalie Maines).

The depth of his influences and breadth of his worldly experiences, are
unmistakable in this diverse collection of heart thumping tunes. From ska to folk, honky-tonk to rock, his lyrics tackle such lofty and often neglected topics as social responsibility and justice, political corruption and greed while consoling the audience with pithy love songs and pure ‘feel good’ rhythms and melodies. Graham and the band have been on the road in 2009 sharing Yearbook with their current and new fans and 2010 is sizing up to become Graham's biggest year yet.

"Graham's a great singer/songwriter. His songs are deep from the heart. His music on stage comes across as very honest, true and real. His unique voice and style make for an enjoyable live show."
~Steve Augello, RCA

“Graham is like no other musician on the scene with charisma in spades and the songs to match. - Hayes Carll (Lost Highway Records Artist)