Graylight Campfire
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Graylight Campfire

Stratford, Connecticut, United States

Stratford, Connecticut, United States
Band Rock Americana


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"The Working Musician"

Why does the small state of Connecticut produce so many great country rock bands? Maybe it's the water! In any case, add Graylight Campfire to the illustrious list. Their sophomore effort, "Keep To Movin'," sounds like an amalgam of Neil Young, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Band, The Grateful Dead, and ska.

The group consists of Dave Hogan (guitar, vocals), Brian O'Callaghan (bass, vocals), and Pete May (drums) with guests Scott Camara (dobro), Tim "T-Bone" Stone (keyboards), and Dan Tressler (fiddle). Hogan and O'Callaghan write all the material, either alone or in collaboration.

Graylight Campfire will capture your heart with their down home, "come as you are" vocals, tunes, and jams. The CD kicks off with the gentle country beat of "Hello Old Friend," a song about two buddies reconnecting after a bitter disagreement. The "special guests" shine on this gem.

The next two songs showcase the band's special blend of country funk. In "Start All Over" Dave Hogan provides a series of alibis for some dastardly deeds. "Where were you the night they took young Annie's life? I was holed up with someone else's wife."

"Time To Run," featuring the "Casey Jones" beat, finds O'Callaghan singing of his inability to move. "It's a crazy situation but I don't care. Come time to run, I just sit right there." "Perfect Day" evokes a "Blue Sky" mood. "Got me a blue sky. Got me a sunshine walk. I hear the birds singing. Seen a double rainbow fall. It don't take too much to make a perfect day. I want to share it with the world but I don't want to give it away." In the country waltz, "Lookin' For a Reason", a working man tries to find meaning in his grueling life.

But the real treat of this record lies in the up- tempo jam tunes. Let's start with the two pumped up ska tracks. "Strange As It Seems" enumerates the insane and contradictory emotions of love. "Ever since I've loved you, my eyes won't see the color black. I can't get enough love to roll me over in my sack." The album closer, "The Day You Cease," features a jacked-up hook that powers an angry diatribe. The band jams the tune out like crazy. The power rock of "Summer Wind" will billow your sails. "Summer wind will blow on my feet again. No matter where I go or where I've been. It's been a long, long time since I don't remember when, Summer wind will blow me home again."

The title cut, "Keep to Movin'" takes that energy and slams into 5th gear. Think of Marshall Tucker's "24 Hours At a Time." "Tires on the road, boots on the stage, sun on the pavement, all part of the game. I tell myself got to keep to movin'. " O'Callagan slips in a tasteful bass solo and Hogan rips out a merciless guitar lead powered by the fuel-injected rhythm section of O'Callaghan and May.

In this day of perfectly computerized, sound-alike, cookie-cutter radio, Graylight Campfire shines like a beacon in the dark. So much energy, so much groove, just so much damn soul!" —The Working
- Roger Z.


Keep To Movin'
All Are Welcome...Some May Stay



Graylight Campfire's debut CD "All Are Welcome…Some May Stay" is the sound of a dream being dreamt in a moving car. The rhythm of the road intrudes and coaxes us, produces pretty views of the sun going down over the dirty sound and of the new century's American landscape; of the highway more traveled and the hundred years of popular music that beams in from long gone radio stations, where Lester Flatt and Jimi Hendrix sound natural playing aside each other, where The Grand Ole Opry goes electric and distorts into the sound of factories closing and money tight, where a voice howls back to the history of howling, of wolves and Wolf. Where Harry Smith-gone-psychedelic frames songs about loss and songs about hope and songs about whiskey and smoke and relationships that save your life and lay waste to you.

Graylight Campfire’s "All Are Welcome…" is a blues record in weight, a country record in accent and an Appalachian folk tale in longing. It’s a Rock And Roll record.

Dave Hogan (guitars/vocals) and Brian O'Callaghan (bass/vocals) cut their teeth in The Rafter Bats, who garnered a diehard following on the Northeastern festival circuit, as recognized in the media the likes 'Relix' and 'Dirty Linen' magazines in addition to multiple awards as 'Bluegrass' and Roots Rock' champions in local press (The Fairfield County Weekly, New Haven Advocate - New Mass Media). The love of acoustic music is what brought them together, but it was soon a shared love of music history. Of influences passed down and around, and of electricity.

Graylight Campfire was started as a notion but soon became all consuming; the three piece electric rock band is eternal and a tradition. It’s as old as 'Stagger Lee' in influence, in desire to get the point across with a voice, a warm and jagged slash of the Les Paul and a driving backbeat. When former ‘Bats drummer M.D. Rickers moved on, the seat was filled by Pete May, who brought the live bash and tight kick that drives the songs. After taking it on the road (most notably, taking part in The Gathering of the Vibes, unheard of for a new band), Graylight Campfire settled in to the studio to make a proper record…but they brought the road in with them. All the laughs and time spent riding, all the late night campfire folk and head rattling gigs, all the dancing, conscious and unconscious, all the kicks and tricks and alcohol. All the friends lost and remembered. You hear it all on "All Are Welcome… Some May Stay," the recognition that songs can sell and tell and preach. But the best songs commiserate with you and make you laugh and let you bum a smoke.