Grand Old Grizzly

Grand Old Grizzly

 Houston, Texas, USA
BandRockAmericana

Houston-based Grand Old Grizzly is an Americana laced musical experience with cleverly crafted songs, a blend of Folk/Indie/Rock/Country influenced instrumentation and strong vocal harmonies. Its a few parts Tom Petty, Neil Young, Marty Robbins, Link Wray, Old 97's, and Drive-by Truckers.

Biography

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. 

Lyrics

The Sundowners

Written By: Will Thomas

Up around the block
There’s a little elbow room
We’ll meet and swap some stories
and we'll open up some wounds
And i’ll tell you
Things like That’s as far as I can see
Oh darling, I cant see past you and me

Order a sundowner
Then we'll have a couple more
Move all of the tables and dance around the floor
Then ill tell you things like what I really mean to say
Oh darling I cant see us any other way

Laughing at your stories
Though I know them all by heart
You always embellish, always change the way they start
And I’ll say things like, I’m content with what I see
Oh darling what’s it like staring back at me.

At some point well head back home
A different way than we came
although when get there every thing will be the same
And I’ll say things like, the sun don’t rise and set for you
Oh darling, I’m not altogether sure that’s even true

and oh for all your faded glory
Has been winds are blowing through
the kind that knocks you down
you don’t know what your gonna do
if you can find a moral
in the landscapes of our lives
Id suspect you and you situation
could reach some compromise
But you don’t
No we don’t

One more last glass of wine
A lovers only kiss
Twenty years of dreaming
how did we end up like this
And I’ll say things like, Its hard to say just what I mean
Oh darling your as far as I’ve ever seen

And oh for all your stories
it seems the fires spread
from that burning in you heart
a warm reception in your head
and if you can count the reasons
or the times you've walked before
you listen to whichever head or heart
brings you back in the door
you never go
its all for show

Up around the block
There’s a little whiskey
We’ll meet and swap some stories
And we’ll open up some scars

And i’ll say things
Things like That’s as far as I can see
Oh no darling, I don’t look past you and me

Marvelistic Coward Band

Written By: Will Thomas

Telling stories
Bout places that they’ve never been
Using words
they don’t really understand
References to
books that they will need read
Doing drugs
In the marvelistic coward band

claiming nights
and feelings that they’ve never had
bragging rights
should be reserved for those who can
brighter lights
is seems the ludes have lost their edge
kill em all
its the marvelistic coward band

ohhhh, you're burnin' up the skies
a cocktail of love and lies

bleeding hearts
for causes that they’ve never known
watch the news
and find a reason to get mad
playing weekly
for people they don't really like
bring it home
in the marvelistic coward band

ohhhhh, your burnin' up the sky
on your rocket ship of lies

paint a picture
keep it vague for smarter folks
keep it edgy
push the worn out envelope
keep reminding
everyone you love you don't
breaking hearts
in the marvelistic coward band

Ohhhh, you're burnin' up the sky
a cocktail of love and lies
ohhhh, you'r burnin' up the sky
a cocktail of love and lies

Indecision

Written By: William THomas

My indecision led to her
Decision not to stay
She had a large outstanding balance
We all knew she’d never pay

She had nails like nails a shark tooth grin
And a cemetery kind of humor
She crawled inside my brain
Branded me like a rumor

She had eyes like ice and legs that sang
When she thought she was in charge
I could see her as a splinter
Stuck deep inside my heart

Her mind like mine and a sense of purpose
That really made no sense
Was telling her to bolt real soon
Or shed have to help pay rent

(Chorus)
I’m not saying gooooo away
But baby I don’t mean stay
I’ll keep my lips shut tight, I don’t wanna make a difference
Lately I don’t seem mean a single thing I say

a Manhattan maniac
was searching for a cure
from a so-so girl in so ho
from whom he had procured

a better give up heart attack
and a big ole bag of dope
she’d left it when she left him
saying it might help him cope

She always blamed the bright lights
She was the kinda girl who could steal home
What I mean is that she moved real fast
and didn’t want to be alone

he watched her watch him watch her out
He knew she planned to go real far
and she rode all night, till dawns first
In the back of an old parked car

(Chorus)

A gust of lust
blew them back
and her smile blew him away
they used to just go at it
when they ran out of things to say

Her tail entailed some spiny thorns
She’d left there in his side
Mistaking a good lover
For a bride

Discography

Grand Old Grizzly - 2012