Kalob Griffin Band
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Kalob Griffin Band

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Americana




"Head to the Kalob Griffin Band website to hear live tracks and download the debut album"

Last month I told you about the sweet southern sounds of the Kalob Griffin Band. Well I was remiss in letting you know that you could download their album June Found a Gun off their website for free! I don’t know how long this will be available, so go over there and get those songs!

Really great musicianship, solid songwriting, and just good dang songs. That’s what it’s all about. Also on their website, they have live versions of two great songs, an original called “Beards” and a cover of the Allman Brothers classic “Ramblin’ Man,” a song I often sing at karaoke. They will be streaming live tracks from this site every week until they announce their Fall 2012 tour. As an aside, why are there so many cool songs about Ramblin’? There is “Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin, “Ramblin’ Man” by the Allmans, and “(I’m a) Ramblin’ Man” by Waylon Jennings. Oh and Cat Power does an amazing cover of the Waylon song, called “Ramblin’ Woman”, which is quite smoky.

Kalob Griffin Band. Awesome dudes. Awesome vibe. Awesome music. Git it! - Root Note Music

"Kalob Griffin Band's June Found A Gun"

The image of a rustic rifle-toting woodsman that decorates the cover of the Kalob Griffin Band’s album June Found A Gun leaves little doubt of the band’s Americana influences. What unfolds throughout the band’s full-length debut, however, is their deftness as musicians as they back Kalob Griffin’s infectious lyrics with a rich sound that does not allude to their Philadelphia-area base.
The band, whose lineup consists of Griffin as a guitar player and lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist Rob Dwyer (banjo, guitar, mandolin), drummer Eric Lawry, keyboard player John Hildenbrand, and electric/upright bass player Nick Salcido, first assembled as they attended college at Penn State in 2009. Despite having only one previous piece circulating, a six-track EP that was released in 2011, the Kalob Griffin Band have already managed to garner the attention of WXPN and the World Café. It does not take a long listen of June Found A Gun to see how the band caught WXPN’s eye. The twelve-track album balances fun, tasteful musicianship and astute songwriting in a wonderful blend of Americana and indie rock.
The fun portion of the album emerges through tracks like “South,” “Whiskey My Love,” and “Hooneymooners,” which brings out all of the band’s best qualities as Griffin chastises a companion who is “biologically a sound individually, mentally you’re just crazy as a loon.” Musically, it’s hard to miss the lively keys of John Hildenbrand and the exceptional guitar parts that emerge from Dwyer that help to fill out the track. Dwyer’s skill with a guitar returns later in the album in “Johnny Double Down,” where a mid-song solo shakes up the record. Hildenbrand returns as a centerpiece throughout certain tracks on the album, particularly on the songs “Oh Good Woman” and “Winter Blues,” where he locks in with Lawry.
As June Found A Gun begins to wrap up, the band places what may be their best song as the penultimate track, the phenomenal “IPA.” The track, which name drops shows in New York City, Colorado women, and hails Western Pennsylvania, maximizes the group’s sound with a perfect blend of guitar, bass, keys, drumming, and vocals.
June Found A Gun, the best and most enjoyable album from a Philadelphia-area that has hit so far this year, is available as a digital download and CD. The Kalob Griffin Band is currently embarking on a tour that will take them to Philadelphia’s World Café Summer In The City event, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. - Long After Dark

"Review: Kalob Griffin Band"

Kalob Griffin Band - I first encountered this Philadelphia quintet a couple of years ago and enjoyed their opening set then. They hit the ground running tonight with a powerhouse piano and crisp drumming. Eventually the bass player shows off some great runs and the electric guitar/banjo/mandolin player has some nice sonic interventions as well. It is all fronted by KG on acoustic guitar and vocals. He brings a great down-home folk rock style to his songs and the band really brings it all to life. They banged out 43 minutes of rootsy, occasional hard-driving songs that had myself and the 40-odd people here thoroughly absorbed the entire time. Rousing fun and being that they have only been around since 2009, an impressive sharpening of their skills since the last time around. They will stay on my radar. - DC Rock Live

"Kalob Griffin Band at MilkBoy Philly"

“Biologically you’re a sound individual, mentally you’re just crazy as a loon. You hit me like a train running so hard, let’s skip the wedding and honeymoon.”- Kalob Griffin Band, Honeymooners
And so describes my relationship with the Kalob Griffin Band—when I heard them at the Tri State Indie Music Awards in February, my ears perked up, pulse sped up, and my honeymoon began. They ended up winning the award for Philly Indie Band of the Year. The second stop on my honeymoon tour was MilkBoy in Center City, Philadelphia. This particular evening brought out distinct crowds for the KGB as well as TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb and The Peace Creeps.
The sound of the Kalob Griffin Band is part folk/americana, part rock, with a generous splattering of pop on top. Their energy is contagious. Part of it can be explained by the natural youthful exuberance of the band—the other part comes from their fan base of Penn State followers. In between songs, the chants of “K-G-B! K-G-B! K-G-B!” were rousing. There was heckling, there was shouting, there was singing, and a swelling of bodies much akin to a beer glass overflowing with foam.
Kalob Griffin’s voice is a loud and clear shock to the soul—a woodsy mix of Justin Townes Earle and Colin Meloy of the Decemberists—with a high and powerful texture. The band played songs from their self-titled EP such as “Beards”, “Take Me River”, “Flood of 1889?, “Whiskey My Love”, and “Ricky Tick Tack”. As a unit, they are tight, forceful, and freewheeling. They’ll be hosting an album release party on Friday, June 1st at the World Cafe Live in Philly for their upcoming album, June Found a Gun.
Speaking of guns and other explosives, TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb lit up the MilkBoy with a floor-stomping mix of what can only be described as punk-a-billy. It’s hardcore folk—grated strings, aggressive tambourines, heaving harmonicas, and upright pounding…yes, take that however you’d like. You’ve got “Ten Minutes” until the sun goes down and you find yourself surrounded by this curious quartet. I’m digging the album cover for Idiots—keep this band on your radar.
And as for The Peace Creeps who opened the show, I suggest you check out their album Autumn of Love, as well as “Fashions for the Fall” from their latest album. Not only is it the kind of psychedelic rock that will always burn up my insides but it also shares my name, my season, and my decaying sense of boundaries between this world and the next. - Tri State Indie

"Kalob Griffin Band keeping it small"

The past two months have been “like a continual tour” for the members of the Kalob Griffin Band, said guitarist and lead singer Griffin of the quintet that bears his name. The band has played at clubs and festivals in the Northeast, and some dates in the South, always coming back to their home base of Philadelphia.

One constant in this tour is the choice of smaller venues, Griffin said. “The smaller venues are generally better for our style of music because our shows are very intimate in terms of the connection we try to build with a crowd,” Griffin said in a phone interview from Philadelphia. “We have played [venues] for hundreds even thousands of people -- that’s a different kind of show,” he said.

The band will play at two of Durham and Chapel Hill’s many intimate venues this weekend – today at Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse and Saturday at He’s Not Here.

Fans will be hearing what Griffin calls the best ensemble in the band’s short history. “We finally have our lineup,” he said. All the members of the band are “committed to playing music” as opposed to extracurricular activities, he said. In addition to Griffin, the other members of this Americana band are Rob Dwyer on guitar, mandolin and banjo; John Hildenbrand on keyboards; Nick Salcido on bass; and Eric Lawry on drums.

The original band met in 2009 as students in college. From their college days, KGB (historical pun intended) went through what Griffin said were several incarnations. After graduation, the band members had to adjust to life in the real world. Several personnel changes occurred before the current lineup gelled, he said.

The band is a mix of classically trained and self-taught musicians. Griffin sang in his church choir as a child, and was writing songs well before his father bought him a guitar for his 18th birthday. He considers himself self-taught on that instrument. Dwyer is “a very talented musician,” Griffin said. “He was classically trained on guitar. He has been taking guitar lessons since he was 10 years old.” Salcido studied music theory in college, and Hildenbrand also is classically trained.

They cite Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young (their arrangement of his “Heart of Gold” is available on YouTube) as among their many influences. Their heavily folk and rock influenced original songs can be heard on their current EP. “Honeymooners” has a goodtime country-rock feel to it. The folk-influenced “Take Me River” (“I was born a sailor / But I was raised a priest”) shows the band’s gifts as wordsmiths.

Griffin himself grew up listening to John Prine, the first musician he ever heard in concert. More recently, he discovered the music of the late Texas folk musician and song writer Townes Van Zandt while listening to an Internet interview with the Avett Brothers, who cited Van Zandt as an influence. A member of the Avett Brothers, conversely, mentioned that he had just recently discovered Prine’s music, Griffin said.

The band’s varying levels of musical training makes for interesting give-and-take in songwriting, he said. Soon, they will record 12 songs in Philadelphia for a planned February release. Griffin calls this release the first in which the band has had financing, and full control to do the record they have wanted to produce.

The band also wants to use online resources to provide listeners with an extension of the live concert experience. “We pride ourselves on our live show being our best feature, but the fact is that a lot of people cannot make it out,” Griffin said. “I don’t really know a lot of other bands’ goals [for online resources]. We have goals of creating something more personal than just creating a website.”

Read more: The Herald-Sun - Kalob Griffin Band keeping it small - Herald-Sun (Raleigh)

"Album Review: Kalob Griffin Band "June Found A Gun""

I remember way back in February watching the Kalob Griffin Band perform at our very own Tri-State Indie Awards show at the World Café in Philadelphia. I remember getting out of my seat in order to dance when those upbeat songs graced my soul. I remember running home and immediately purchasing their self-titled EP. They won the “Best Philadelphia Artist” category that night and I remember thinking that they really, REALLY deserved it.

When I sat down to write this review, I couldn’t find the correct sequences of words to describe what’s going on in their debut LP June Found a Gun. The ominous title of the album is misleading because this one’s a booze-soaked jubilee of noise, not a violent tour de force. Each song is a new journey into love, dreams, alcohol, heartbreak, and longing. This album is, above all else, fun. Just like their live shows, it’s pretty hard not to dance when these songs come on. One especially joyous romp, “South” is basically a love letter to the southern states. With lyrics like “I’ll be back one day/in your arms someday/Oh Georgia you’ll always be mine,” the KGB really bring the Americana charm time and time again. June Found a Gun is an album that the listener can become immersed in. You put it on and get lost in the world that it creates. It’s a world that at each turn has something equally reminiscent and festive to discover; much like “South,” which is a song that celebrates the nostalgia of travels across the southern American states.
The album’s standout “Winter Blues,” a beaty folk-rock jam really lets the listener know what the album’s all about. It’s so appropriate that an album coming out in late May would feature lyrics like “We pray for Spring/When those winter blues begin.” Anyone who’s lived through a Pennsylvania winter can attest to the truth to these lines. I like how the lyrical imagery of the song matches the music. Guitars, keys, banjo and a walkin’ bass line create a sensation that will undoubtedly inspire many to sing full force with their hand out of the window crusin’ on a sunny day. It’s summer music. All of it. It’s that stuff you put on at a barbeque. Those songs that make you reminisce about long June sunsets. It’s the music that you crack open a brew and relax to.

The glue that holds these songs together is Kalob Griffin’s voice. It’s one destined to make music like this. Whether he’s accompanied by multiple-part harmonies, or taking on a solo performance, the throaty, strained quality of his earthy voice makes the songs exemplify exactly what it means to make Americana music. You really notice when a Kalob Griffin Band song comes on. He’s not afraid to be loud, powerful and booming, which is a quality that distinguishes folk tunes from other types of music. Each song seems to attempt to outdo the last one as in terms of grace, power and (as mentioned earlier) fun.
But this album isn’t without a hometown shout-out either. “IPA,” a narrative of the shenanigans that happen in different states that the KGB has been to is a fast paced rock song. But a few times the song does a half-time breakdown with the lyrics “Western Pennsylvania/Is where I was born and raised.” When these lyrics come, they sound especially triumphant when compared to the rest of the song. So while the messages of the album can be at times wandering (both geographically and thematically), “IPA” relocates June Found a Gun in terms of how the KGB can venture out into the world of folk-rock while maintaining a firm grip on how much they love their hometown. It also allows the band acknowledge the influence of their hometown. Philly might not be known especially for this folk music (except for Dr. Dog, perhaps), but the Kalob Griffin Band certainly creates a well-developed Americana album with June Found a Gun.

If you can’t make it out to the release show tomorrow night, fans can sample a couple songs and snag there own copy of the new album after its release HERE!
- Tri State Indie

"Critic's Pick: The Kalob Griffin Band"

So many of the hallmarks of the early-'00s buzz band are fulfilled in Suckers: There are ethereal harmonies coexisting with dry, disaffected lead vocals. There are big, anthemic progressions. There are some bloopity-bloop synth things. If there's a formula for Pitchfork/Stereogum success, these guys found it — but of course, locating a formula is nothing without the talent to write the songs and perform them. And they're pretty great at that. - Pittsburgh City Paper

"Critic's Pick: The Kalob Griffin Band"

So many of the hallmarks of the early-'00s buzz band are fulfilled in Suckers: There are ethereal harmonies coexisting with dry, disaffected lead vocals. There are big, anthemic progressions. There are some bloopity-bloop synth things. If there's a formula for Pitchfork/Stereogum success, these guys found it — but of course, locating a formula is nothing without the talent to write the songs and perform them. And they're pretty great at that. - Pittsburgh City Paper

" Sway to Kalob Griffin Band and Their Country-Dusted Rock at MilkBoy Philly Mar. 31"

Sway to Kalob Griffin Band and Their Country-Dusted Rock at MilkBoy Philly Mar. 31
There’s a simple rolling groove in the Kalob Griffin Band’s “Take Me River,” as the percussive semblance of the bass guitar, drums, and piano meld together in a specific way, which makes the hips naturally sway in that down-home backyard barbeque kind of way, just when a lead guitar solo slices right through upping the ante. It’s the country-dusted rock they’re known for, and they’ll bring it to MilkBoy Philly tonight for their last Philly show before their official release party for their debut album, which was recorded at Milkboy Studios in the fall (BONUS: They’re pre-releasing to album tracks at the show). KGB’s sound varies from an upbeat southern rock/country blues a la the Allman Brothers Band to a dark moody grunge tinged one that screams of Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Sharing the bill is TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb. TJ Kong’s lead singer Dan Buskewicz has the type of raspy-throaty vocals that make his words ring true and wise. His harmonica playing develops a rustic Americana sense that’s further galvanized by the addition of upright and backing vocals act like echoes in the distant. It’s as if Bob Dylan and the Band are back together, taking us on the back of a pickup truck, passing a bottle of whiskey, riding through the backwoods, telling stories and using the instruments to exemplify their points. MilkBoy Philly, 1100 Chestnut St., 9:30 $12, 21+ (Photo by David Turcotte) - Michael Colavita - The Deli Philadelphia

"First/Last: The Kalob Griffin Band"

I consider myself so lucky to be in the very dubious position I am in to be on the receiving end of publicists, record labels, or musician's email lists. I get a ton of requests to showcase a band that's coming through Pittsburgh to maybe preview, shoot or mention the gig. I don't think I have ever been publicly jaded about it. Frankly, I never appreciated other people moaning about a influx of demos, or badly worded bios, or worse, bad music sent their way. For me, it's an honor and a pleasure to flirt with the possibility of helping out a band I never heard of and in return...well, we'll see.
That said, The Kalob Griffin Band is playing Club Cafe next Friday. They hail from Philly. Oh, and I found out that I actually like them! Not settling for Kalob himself to be answering alone, they have been kind enough to participate in this extensive edition of First/Last.

The Kalob Griffin Band
Kalob Griffin (lead vocals/rhythm guitar)
Nick Salcido (Electric/Upright bass)
John Hildenbrand: (keyboards/backup vocals)
Eric Lawry (drums/backup vocals)
Rob Dwyer: Lead guitar/mandolin/banjo

The first album you ever bought?
Kalob (lead vocals): Rage Against the Machine, Battle of Los Angeles. It was explicit.

Nick (bassist): When I was twelve, my mother gave me fifteen dollars to “start” a CD collection and I chose Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers as my first album, because I knew they cursed on the record and it didn’t have one of those Parental Advisory stickers.

John (keys): Oh wow, I actually had to look this up to get the album name right, but it was the great album from 1994, Live's Throwing Copper. I was in second or third grade and this album rocked when i heard some of it on the radio, so I thought a trip to the Wall would garner this purchase with many to come afterwards.

Your last album bought?
Kalob: Paul Kelly's greatest hits, Songs From the South. His storytelling is so captivating.

Nick: Well...Spotify has kinda given me an excuse to stop buying new music, but I still buy records, and the last one I bought was this great old Impluse! jazz compilation. It has lots of great rare cuts by greats like Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, and Shirley Scott.

John:It is funny because there are so many of these listening sites and YouTube is one of them I go to frequently. I’ve been listening to King Crimson albums from cover to cover the last few days. Man, they are so british, scary, and epic. I love it. The last album I purchased was The Lake Bottom LP by The Chapin Sisters. I heard their set on Mountain Jam and liked what I heard. Their next album Two is even better.

Rob(lead guitar/mandolin/banjo): The Dave Brubeck Quartet "Time Further Out". After getting into their prequel "Time Out," I had to listen to more, especially Paul Desmond’s saxophone tone. It's got such an airy quality to it.

Eric (drummer): Head and the Heart self-titled. I bought it because of “Lost In My Mind,” stayed for the rest. Solid album through and through. I’ve also been Spotified, but I try to buy a new album at an independent store down the street every few weeks. I fail more than succeed.

Favorite album of all time?
Kalob: John Prine's self-titled debut album. Those songs never get old to me.

Nick: Hands down Voodoo by D’Angelo. I know I’m young but I still think it’s one of the best engineered albums you’ll ever hear regardless of genre. An absolutely classic lineup of R&B, hip hop, and jazz musicians perform on it as well.

John: This is a tough one because I could go all over the place. My favorite has to go to The Beatles' Rubber Soul. This album I can always return too if need be and the reassurance is always there. This album did a lot for that time and quite frankly still is doing a lot for music. My parents raised me on the Beatles and their catalogue is great because you see the way they changed from Please Please Me all the way to Let It Be.

Rob: Cake - Comfort Eagle - HughShows

"Americana outfit Kalob Griffin Band on living the dream in Philadelphia"

Kalob Griffin was a little under the weather when he caught up on the phone with BAD Publicity earlier this week, but you really couldn’t tell.

Right off the bat, the frontman for the Philly-based Americana band with his namesake was laughing and talking excitedly. We thanked him for sparing his voice to do the interview, considering its importance to him as the band’s singer.

“Everyone else in the band can kind of just go out and party and gets all sorts of twisted,” he said jokingly. “But I have to pay attention to what my body is telling me. They can go through a show without feeling 100 percent, but I don’t like doing that.”

Even if the members of Kalob Griffin Band take the stage a little hungover from time to time, there’s no question that they’ve all put 100 percent of their efforts into the band’s success.

They met while all were students at Penn State, with Griffin on guitar and vocals, Rob Dwyer on guitar, mandolin and banjo, drummer Eric Lawry, keyboard player John Hildenbrand and Nick Salcido on electric or upright bass. Playing gigs at house parties and bars, the band became a household name within the school’s music scene with everything from their emotional ballads to blatant drinking songs.

After they graduated, they moved the entire project to Philly, where cultivating a new fan base was eased by the support of the Penn State community there. Griffin said the transition was “actually smooth” when it came to the band.

“But any time you move to a different city you’re not from, there’s going to be a transition,” Griffin said. “I lived in our guitarist’s parent’s basement for eight months because we didn’t have any money. We had just gotten back from touring with Michael Franti and decided to move the band here. I don’t know why in god’s name they let me live in the basement. If the situation was reversed, there’s no way I would let me live there. But they let me live there rent free just so we could keep the band going, play shows and be together.”

By making money doing odd jobs like cutting grass, being a golf caddy and working at Subway (which he hasn’t eaten since), Griffin and the rest of the band are now living together in a house and have been making the new city home for more than a year. Any leftover funds are funneled right back into the band.

“My grandpa always tells me ‘you should be doing stuff in your field,’” Griffin recalled. “But I think that right now, I’m happy doing what I’m doing. I have a lot of young energy still left in me, so I think I can afford, or I know I can afford to ride it out and make this band’s dream come true. Really, it’s a dream. … We all have kind of pulled everything we have and put it into trying to make something better. It’s definitely a risk we all choose to take.”

For that risk, Kalob Griffin Band is about to be rewarded. The band will release their first full length album tomorrow, titled “June Found A Gun,” on their own label, There He Is Records. They will celebrate with an album release show headlining one of Philly’s premiere venues, World Café Live.

The album was recorded last summer at Milkboy Studios in Ardmore, Pa., with the band spending a week and a half in the studio as opposed to the couple of hours it took to record the EP they released last year. Griffin said the band booked the release show while “June” was still in the process of being mastered.

“We just said we were going to set our bar that high, by booking this really nice venue,” he said. “We felt like if we set this date, that we would work with that goal in mind knowing that that date was coming no matter what.”

For a band that prides itself on its live performance, Griffin said everyone definitely feels ready for the big night. He added that each of the member’s ability to connect with an audience, both on and off the stage, is what may set them apart from other bands today.

“The individual energy each person has is very strong and very drawin - Bad Publicity Blog

"Kalob Griffin Band Throws an EPIC CD Release Party"

Not only has June Found a Gun but June has also reawakened this diehard fan of the Kalob Griffin Band. The KGB (as they are known by their loyal and spirited Penn State fan base) held their album release party at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on Friday, June 1st. The room was packed with friends, frats, family, and a whole lotta’ fun. Not to mention a small group of handsome young gentlemen (referred to as the “Norristown boys”) donning fancy suits—white and pinstriped among them—to mark the special occasion.

The night opened with some down-home kicking of the heels to the music of Cabinet, a six-piece bluegrass/folk band of musicians who play banjo, mandolin, violin, upright bass, guitar, and drums. They played songs from their CD/DVD album Eleven (Live at Abbey Bar, November 11, 2011) and even had a special guest—John Hildenbrand, keyboardist for the KGB—sit in for a song. Cabinet finished their set with “Old Farmer’s Mill” which, despite my rules on not dancing with beer in my hand, caused me to hop, stomp, and yell, spilling beer on my clothes and the dance floor. After the show, I talked briefly with Mickey Coviello, the band’s guitarist and vocalist, who offered me a sticker and told me about their upcoming PA tour dates at Mauch Chunk Opera House and Bears Picnic to name a couple. I will definitely be spilling beer on myself to their music in the coming months.

When the Kalob Griffin Band took the stage the room volume exploded with male chants of K-G-B! K-G-B! K-G-B! along with screaming females, and an overall rambunctiousness that was all-consuming. The first song, “IPA”, opened with Kalob Griffin’s sounding cry , “I’ve been to Tennessee-EE!” The dance floor filled up almost immediately—there was just enough room for everybody to sway, stumble, sing, yell, chant, drink and spill beer, and not care either way because the party was ON. Kalob then toasted the audience with a “Cheers!” to the crowd as we obeyed, tipping our cups and he launched into the intense lyrics of “The Flood of 1889?: “Burn the bridge and build a dam. Watch the water tear it down.” The band continued to rip through song after song, while Kalob told stories of the first song he ever wrote with short hair (“Go On Your Way”) and the song he wrote in his 4th floor dorm room (“Whiskey My Love”)—also the song for which he requested John the keyboardist to undo an extra button on his shirt. The highlight for me was when Kalob requested the lights to be “saddened” and blue for an epic “Ricky Tick Tack” which was later followed by “Ricky Jr.” The crowd was also entertained with tales of “Sweet Tooth” aka Rob Dwyer, the guitar/mandolin/banjo player, and Kalob’s admission of the most heartfelt song he’s ever written: “Beards”.

Eric Lawry, drummer, Kalob Griffin Band. Photo credit: @asoulfulsound.
During the evening I had the pleasure of meeting the father of Eric Lawry, KGB’s drummer, who was in the crowd sporting the green KGB visors that other family and friends were proudly wearing. And I overheard some girls in the bathroom talking about how charismatic Eric is: “Oh my god, the drummer looks like he’s having so much fun! I wanna be him. He just looks like he loves life!” I was also fortunate enough to meet Kalob’s mother who shared a couple interesting facts about her amazingly talented son: 1) He originally wanted to be a golfer but gave it up because he couldn’t stand the golf clothes; and 2) He didn’t learn to sing or play the guitar until he was in college. And to top it all off, Kalob was joined by two women on stage who were part of the inspiration behind the album’s title—the women who weren’t allowed at hunting camp but still found a gun, a camera, and a box of cigars.
The evening ended with an encore of The Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man” where people were dancing on the stage and subsequently ushered off by the World Cafe’s stage regulators. However, one of the suited “Norristown boys” managed to stay up there and relieve himself o - Tri State Indie

"Kalob Griffin Band makes a name for itself at World Cafe Live"

As a regular concertgoer, I have always hoped that one day I would be able to tell a story about seeing some famous band back when they were young and nobody had heard of them. After seeing Kalob Griffin Band at World Cafe Live June 1, I think I may finally have my story.

More commonly referred to by fans as KGB, the Philadelphia-based quintet plays a style of music that they call “Americana Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which blends the various sounds and styles of folk, bluegrass, southern rock and just plain rock ‘n’ roll. This blending of such genres, along with their infectiously fun and carefree attitude, gives the young rockers such potential for future success.

Formed at The Pennsylvania State University in 2009, the band includes Kalob Griffin (guitar and vocals), Rob Dwyer (guitar, mandolin and banjo), Eric Lawry (drums and vocals), John Hildenbrand (keyboards and vocals) and Nick Salcido (electric and upright bass), whose addition in 2011 solidified the band roster.

With nothing but a self-titled EP in 2010 under their belts, the men of KGB have spent the past year touring and working on their first album, “June Found a Gun,” which was celebrated at Friday’s show.

After a fantastic set from Cabinet, the opening band, KGB came onstage to a roar of cheers and launched immediately into “IPA,” which is possibly the best song off of their new album, and they did a great job of getting the crowd energized for a great two hours of music.

Courtesy TRISTATE Indie
From there the band continued to delight the crowd with songs from the new album like the bluegrassy “Cheatin’ Joey” and “Honeymooners,” as well as a newer and unrecorded track, “American Dream.”

Then, without warning, the band kicked the show into overdrive with an incredible jam during the song “Ricky Tick Tack.” While having only one keyboard, Hildenbrand was able to produce an amazing, almost jazzy jam that was accompanied by great licks from Dwyer on the electric guitar.

It was during this jam that I realized that not only is every member of the band a great musician, but they are also great entertainers, which is something that can be equally as important as musicianship. While they were jamming, every member of the band had a smile on his face and was egging on whichever member had control of the jam. This incredibly positive energy onstage then seemed to spill over into the crowd, causing everyone to smile and dance like fools.

The good vibes continued on through the set with people getting up to dance onstage with the band members — who were more than happy to dance along — as well as with an appearance and quick speech by Kalob’s grandmother and aunt, something that really made everyone in the room feel like one giant family.

The journey to success for KGB is without a doubt long from over, but with their incredible sound, stage presence and fans, success is most assuredly in their future.

While most of the summer for KGB is dedicated to southern and more rural Pennsylvania shows, KGB will be performing at Milkboy Philly in August. So for those of you who likewise want to see a rising band before they’ve made it big, I suggest you save the date. - The Triangle (Drexel University Student Paper)

"Dan Kunz"

The Kalob Griffin Band sings songs about about losing in love, drinking whiskey, and 19th century floods. Not your cup of tea? Given that the group spent a weekend hanging out with Jack Johnson and Damien Marley at Denver's Mile High Music Festival, they must be doing something right." - Centre Daily Times


"The Kalob Griffin Band introduces a unique roots based sound that blends elements of folk, blues, and rock. The varied blends of instrumentation from song to song keep their presentation fresh and interesting." - Pennsylvania Music Magazine

"Juli Thanki"

"If you're a fan of Whiskeytown, Deer Tick, or Justin Jones, it would behoove you to check out The Kalob Griffin Band." - District Noise

"Artist Referral"

"It is a pleasure on working with The Kalob Griffin Band. The band brings professionalism along with a smoking hot music product that any venue would desire to have. Kalob has a unique vocal styling that crosses bluegrass & folk with a cutting edge indie vibe. Great Songs, musicianship and man do they get the crowd going. The KGB is a regular must booking for me at Legendary Dobbs and Dewey Beach Festivals”
- Jim Thorpe of Thorpe Productions - Artist Manager, Talent Buyer, Booking Agent


Kalob Griffin Band EP
6-Track Self Titled Debut. March 2011
June Found A Gun
12 Track LP. June 2012



The Kalob Griffin Band, a Philadelphia based outfit better known to their devoted fan base as “KGB,” strives to engage listeners on and off stage with a unique, energetic, and personalized experience that encourages people to come together and have a fun time.

With the help of their dedicated fans and intimate team, the band recently released their debut album, “June Found a Gun” off of their label, There He is Records. After forming at Penn State in 2009 and undergoing various personnel changes, the homegrown Americana rockers released a self-titled EP in the spring of 2010 and have since been continuously touring and developing an active, fan-based community that has turned into more of a family. A range of dynamic experiences has led the group to where they are and where they’re going, ranging from national tours and festival appearances with colleague Bobby Long (ATO Records), to booking sold out venues in major markets including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York City, to seeking unconventional performances that get their music in front of new people.

Kalob Griffin (vocals/guitar), Rob Dwyer (guitar/mandolin/banjo), Eric Lawry (drums/vocals), John Hildenbrand (keyboards/vocals), and Nick Salcido (electric/upright bass) compose this brotherhood of musicians who come together to create a sound and live show that some would say is immediately original, familiar, and contagious.

Original and familiar? Take a John Prine lyric, an Avett Brothers harmony, an Allman Brothers solo, and a foot-stomping live show then mix and mash to your heart’s desire to hear what KGB is all about. The KGB is a revival of what the great pioneers of the industry stood for – hard work, true talent, and building a community.

Recorded at Milkboy Studios in Ardmore, Pa., the twelve-track “June” aims broaden the landscape of the Americana genre by combining various influences. The 12-track debut is a collection of reflective tales of the band’s past and a glimpse into the next chapter of their journey. “Take Me River” opens the album and invites audiences to howl along before unfolding into the catchy “Cheatin’ Joey.” The mandolin-heavy “Honeymooners” tempts the crowd, aged 5 to 75, to grab the person next to them and dance the night away, continuing into the compelling story of “Go On Your Way.” The musical narrative keeps listeners craving for more with the southern delta influenced rock jam “Johnny Double Down,” skipping along to fan favorite “Whiskey My Love.” “IPA,” an energetic ode to the band’s home state, sweeps listeners off of their feet and brings them back down to the tell tale concluder “A Girl From Chapel Row.”

The band has just begun to develop a name for themselves as fun-loving, uninhibited rock n’ rollers who exhibit an artistic vision committed to being fan-centric and experience driven. Turn up a tune, grab the person next to you and swing them by the arm, and wait until we see what’s next…

Band Members