Gravy
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Gravy

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Band Rock Funk

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"Listen Up"

Sonicbids.com/relixlistenup presents:

Gravy
Creating a musical blend they call "Funk Rock". Gravy combines traditional new Orleans funk with musical aspects from every walk of life. - Relix Magazine(Sept./Oct.'06)


"Start the Music Up"


A thick helping of Gravy means Crescent City jam-rock at its finest. This band of eclectic locals has quickly risen through the ranks of the New Orleans music scene as the culmination of four distinct musical palettes. Some call it bluegrass, others progressive rock, even some rhythm & blues. You can call it a delicious blend of soul-enriched funk rock. - Southern Comfort Music Fund


"Ones to Watch"

The sludge in the French Quarter is often referred to as “gravy,” and this undeniable byproduct has a distinctive New Orleans funk to it. As residents know, the funk is everywhere in New Orleans; it was born here and it breeds here in the streets and clubs. The city’s latest funkified musical product is Gravy, a local rock band seeping with funkiness that is starting to catch fire and garner attention. Already armed with an arsenal of choice cover tunes as well as a number of funky and sophisticated originals, this young quintet adds a distinctive touch to the sometimes tiredly mired funk scene.

“There is definitely something about the funk that we all love, but being in New Orleans, you’re hesitant to do it because it is done so well by so many people,” says guitarist Steve Kelly. “You kind of want to set it apart. We love the funk and keep that at the heart of everything, but while also exploring ideas like progressive rock. The fact is that we’re pretty much willing to try anything... there are bands like Galactic that you have got to love, but at the same time, there is stuff we’re doing that they don’t do. There are a couple bluegrass tunes that we do that are just tons of fun to play.”

Gravy started to come together when Kelly met drummer Robert Miner a couple years ago. After some cocktails and heady conversation, Kelly was invited to practice with Miner’s band at the time, called Sounds End, which included future Gravy members Orin Dodge (percussion) and Mark Burrell (bass) (Burrell learned the bass after moving to New Orleans and finding a bass guitar left behind by an old tenant). When they needed a keyboardist, Miner put an add in the paper.

“Scott [Shdeed, veteran player from the jamband Strangefolk] answered an ad that we put out. He came in and practiced one night, and made himself at home.”

What sets Gravy apart from other bands trying to get established is their desire to contribute to the New Orleans musical community—on one level you have to appreciate it and on the other level you have to contribute to it. What the musicians in Gravy are doing is taking everything they appreciate from the scene and then dumping right back in.
“There are so many bands around town that I love for distinctly different reasons,” says Kelly. “We take what we see as the best part of what’s around and try to focus it into one thing. You know, it’s like if you go to see Soul Rebels at Le Bon Temps on Wednesday, that’s just an ass shaking good time. Then there’s Astral Project, which is straight up jazz, badass jazz. We by no means have come close to scratching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to that, but the kind of influence that those guys have, we take to heart when we’re playing.”

While Gravy may use their influences to add a fresh touch to their music, their raison d’être is nothing novel. “Fun, we want to make people dance,” says Miner. “I want people to come to the shows and I want to put a smile on their face.”

When asking Kelly about the connectivity of Gravy and New Orleans, he just says, “It’s so indelible to what we’re going for. It’s in the air, it’s in the water, it’s everywhere.” - Sigfried Rydquist/Where Y'AT Magazine/New Orleans


"Saucin' and Howlin' with Gravy"

In the confines of the murky, damp, punk rock armpit practice space known to many New Orleans musicians as Fontainebleau there lies a gem. If you can successfully wade through the reoccurring guttural rebirths of Acid Bath and Glen Danzig wannabes you'll find shelter in room 601. That's where you'll discover Gravy. Now that I've divulged this information, the guys will kill me, but keep reading--it gets stickier.

The ever changing soul/groove/jam quartet comprised of Steve Kelly (guitar, vox), Robert Miner (drums, vox), Orin Dodge (percussion, vox), and Marcus Burrell (bass, vox) turned out a balanced, danceable attack July 15 at the Howlin' Wolf. Their originals, such as "Dorsey," and "Groove Interlude" (which saw former member Chris Trahan sit in on minichord) shook many butts, and the band seemed to get more relaxed when the songs extended to the outer reaches of techno space on the latter jam.

Guest guitarist Mike Carrier joined the group during "The Adventures of Bob Miner," and it took him the duration of the song to get comfortable with Gravy's live grooves. But after the next few songs, his smooth rhythms gave lead guitarist Steve Kelly room to stretch out and get dirtier with the solos. And a much more relaxed Carrier gave way to appreciation by the band.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect about Gravy was their solid foundation in the rhythm section of Burrell and Miner. You can't help but smell out some classic feeling of Porter, Longhair, or Booker in Burrell's bass playing. But, as a true student of the history of New Orleans funk, Burrell adds his own story, continually adding personal punctuation to an already nasty groove.

Miner is a drummer that you must seek out. Definitely try to meet him (he's a nice fellow), but also try to find him behind his drums. He'll be hidden behind a massive kit, but he's a master of his domain. In the small set of 11 songs, Miner, along with percussionist Orin Dodge, created an evenly lit textural landscape that allowed guitarist Steve Kelly to weave his palate of solos and rhythms in to a tunnel of groove.

For good measure, Gravy doused the set with some choice covers, such as Bob Marley's "Soul Shakedown Party" and "Need More Time" by the Meters, and ended the set with a front porch-worthy version of Taj Mahal's "Corrina." But the more shows that Gravy plays, the less you see covers popping up into their sets. This move displays a growing sense of confidence with the members. Gravy has been beefing up their sets with more originals, sometimes at the cost of taking chances while everyone's watching. But isn't that what live music is about anyway?

Check with JamBase for more Gravy shows in your area. - Zack Smith/Jambase.com


"Best Of The Big Easy"

List of local bands that we like and think should receive more attention in local, regional and national circles (in no particular order – in fact the order was determined by cutting up little pieces of paper and writing numbers and Chinese symbols on them and making a piñata and drinking margaritas and…):
Chris Mule Band, Otra, Rotary Downs, Joe Krown Organ Combo, the SophistiCats, Egg Yolk Jubilee, Country Fried, Happy Talk Band, Dirty Mouth, Dave Stover Band, Soul Project, Maurice Brown (both his jazz and funk projects), Atman Roots, Water, Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, Have Soul Will Travel, Panorama Jazz Band, Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots, Elastic Karma Kings, the Left Field Ramblers, Crazyface, Boogie City (do they still exist?), Macrosick, John Rankin and Gravy. - Where Y'at Magazine


""Said & Done" CD Review"

Gravy
Said and Done
Blue Eye Dog

Gravy is a surprisingly young group, something worth noting considering the band’s new album, Said and Done sounds like a group of musicians who has been on the scene for a while. This rock-funk quartet’s skilful display of musicianship is on every track. The slide guitar hook on Dorsey is in the same vein as blues-rock outfit The Black Keys, and their infusion of genres is evident on The Pullout, which gives the immediate feel-good vibe that The Funky Meters are known for. Everything this band is capable of is summed up on track nine, "Cool with That," which begins with a jazzy drum intro, a perfect walking bass line, and a soft, playful touch of the keys that leads into a fun theme. This album is truly entertaining, and these natives of our great city are a reminder that not only do we have our own thing going on down here, but that there are musicians to perpetuate a groove that is here to stay. –Brian Serpas
- Where Y'at Magazine, New Orleans


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

From Jam to Progressive Rock to Rhythm & Blues to Funk, Gravy's music will touch and enrich the soul. Individually, the members of Gravy are four talented musicians, but the band is more than a sum of its parts. Together these musicians form a group that transcends genre and style.

Gravy quickly climbed the ranks of the New Orleans music scene, providing a mix of styles and genres. You may have caught them on WWOZ , playing the French Quarter Festival, at the late night shows during New Orleans Jazz Fest, or rocking out at any number of local clubs and bars, such as Tipitina's and The Maple Leaf.

Gravy is fresh out of the studio, having just recorded their sophomore album, The Hard Way, featuring the work of guest musician Johnny Vidacovich, a New Orleans legend and close friend to the band.

Gravy's first studio album, Said & Done, was recorded at New Orleans' own Piety Street Studios, and saw the band collaborate with such icons as producer Mark Bingham, saxophonist Ben Ellman of Galactic, and Corey Henry of The Rebirth Brass Band on trombone. Along with praising reviews from local magazines, Said & Done has become a local favorite, seeing extended air play on radio station WWOZ, which is widely known for it's loyalty to maintaining a rich musical scene in New Orleans.

Along with Said & Done and The Hard Way, Gravy can be found on the Southern Comfort "Start The Music Up" Compilation CD, a tribute to New Orleans Musicians, alongside artists such as Galactic, Cowboy Mouth, Professor Longhair, Jon Cleary, Theresa Andersson, The Rebirth Brass Band, and Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes.

Gravy has also been featured in Relix Magazine, in the regular "Listen Up" section.

Band Members