The Galt Line
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The Galt Line

Poolesville, Maryland, United States | SELF

Poolesville, Maryland, United States | SELF
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By: Azaria Podplesky
January, 5th, 2011

“I don’t exactly know if I like ‘jump blues’ or ‘gypsy jazz’ by I do know that I like THE GALT LINE. The Washington, D.C.-based duo has been jump blues-ing and gypsy-jazzing since 2008, combining those genres, as well as R&B, rockabilly and Western swing, to produce a sound that is neither modern, nor ancient, neither country, nor rock n’ roll. It instead pulls a little here and there from each of those styles.

Vocalist and ukulele player, Blythe Crawford, - who stomps her bottle-capped anklet adorned feet through the set - sings and skats with a honeyed voice edged with razor blades. She alternates between a smooth, lilting tone and a deep, bar room cackle, hootin’ and hollerin’ as if she really were a fed up country gal. Not to be outdone, guitarist Willie Gammell, who started playing blues and psychedelic music when he was 15, holds his own, playing groove after groove of danceable roots rock and blues riffs that you can’t help but tap you toes to.

The Galt Line and Silver Treason - Fri, Jan. 6 at 11 pm - Free - 21+ - Baby Bar - 827 W. 1st - 847-1234” - The Inlander- Spokane, WA


By: Rich McKie
Dec. 8, 2011
WHO: HOUSECATS, MIKE MCMONAGLE, THE GALT LINE, METALLICAN’T
WHAT: THE MAX J VARIETY SHOW
WHERE: CHAMELEON CLUB – LIZARD LOUNGE – LANCASTER, PA
WHEN: DEC. 6TH 2011
TSI has been hearing more and more about THE MAX J VARIETY SHOW and was FINALLY able to make it out! Last nights show was there “First Anniversary Extravaganza” and it was KILLER! A night of fun hosted by Max J & Friends was full of a “variety” of acts including Max J talks on the couch, hilarious video and photo slides, comedy and a full night of great live bands!
The live acts started with the cool indie rock sounds of the HOUSECATS, followed by the usually acoustic but first time electric and vox of MIKE MCMONAGLE. Next up, one of TSI’s favs from this past summer, THE GALT LINE. Being their second time out to play the Max J show, you could tell that some of the crowd was obviously ready for ‘em, but all the others found themselves picking there jaws up off of the ground by the middle of the very first song! Blythe Crawford is the front of this band with crazy wailing vocals, a uke and hundreds of bottle caps strapped to her legs for percussion. Backed by Willie Gammell who totally RIPS IT on guitar, this absolutely killer duo from DC completely blew the top off of the Lizard Lounge with there Old School Gritty Americana Rock sound! With a tough act to follow, Mike Kuhn, Luke Leidy, and Terry Sheetz (T.) hit the stage to lay down the Piano Driven Metal sounds of METALLICAN’T! They don’t come out to often, but when they do, this is a MUST SEE for any old school Metallica Fan!
- Tri-State Indie


By: Rich McKie
08/16/2011
For the second year in a row, promoter and indie music lover Jerry Ryan has done it again. Ryan collected 80+ indie acts from across the region and beyond and dropped them like a bomb on downtown Atlantic City, NJ. The Boneyard, 20 S. Virginia Ave., and Le Grand Fromage, 25 Gordon’s Alley, was the place to be from friday Aug. 5th to Sunday Aug. 7th for the second year of the Elephant Talk Music Fest.

With so may bands hitting the 3 stages over the weekend, I could still be writing this story until next years festival. Honestly, who really wants to listen to me ramble on that long. However, TSI was introduced to a few bands that we had yet to hear before at this festival that are defiantly worth touching on.
Mid-day Saturday we had our second scrumdiddlyumptious taste of Sarah Aument after having our first spoonful on friday evening. Based out of Syracuse, Sarah and her band are a refreshing indie/pop band that make us happy to see that the younger generation of this scene is pumping out some amazing talent. Already having tracks featured on the silver screen and sharing the stage with some of our fav’s Dawes and others, Aument deserves every opportunity that comes her way. Her unbelievable vocals and guitar riffs, mixed with the tight backing of her band is “on point” across the board. We had a chance to catch up with Sarah Aument and company before their set on Saturday for a video interview on the streets of AC… so keep your eyes peeled for that over the next few weeks!

Hitting the stage at Le Grand Fromage at the peek of Saturday Night was an interesting Indie/Experimental band calling themselves Bellflur. This Dio of Carlos Gonzalez-Fernandez and Tom Longobardi (an abbreviated version of the full band) have a clustered mess of keys, guitars, samplers, pedals, electric bass, various percussion instruments and both warm up their vocalizers to crank some vocals. Yet somehow both members of the band know exactly where to reach to bring some incredible new sounds to your ears!

On Saturday and Sunday we caught another band who’s sound made me txt the rest of our team and say you MUST come up to Le Grand Fromage to check them out! This group from Poolesville, MD known as The Galt Line is comprised of 2 members; Blythe Crawford and Willie Gammell. Blythe tore up her uke, pumped out some screamin’ vocals and laid down some thumping drum like beats by tromping down on a wooden board with a ton of bottle caps hanging from straps on her legs. Like that wasn’t enough, Willie was rippin’ up and down the neck of his guitar to leave every jaw dropped in the room during his riffs and solos. This bands sound has been coined as Screamin’ Swing & Americana, which definitely describes there style, but after playing one of their records on the drive home, I’d personally describe it as Speakeasy Blues. When listening to there gritty recordings it almost made me turn right back around and head directly to the AC Boardwalk to imagine myself as a new character in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire taking shots of trashy whiskey in a back room speakeasy in the 20's! This duo is a TSI recommended MUST see! Also keep your eyes peeled for a video interview in the next couple weeks!

A couple more great bands to mention before we go; The Rhodes and The Atomic Square. This is the second year that we have run into The Rhodes at this festival and we can’t wait till we get a chance to “kick it” with them again. This all around american rock/pop band is instantly likable with their catchy rock tunes and the guys couldn’t be more fun to hang with. The Atomic Square is talented 4 piece indie rock band that mixes the ambient sounds of explosions in the sky meets with the driving guitar and vocal style of Jimmy Eats World. Definitely a band to catch the next time they come around!

Once again, way to many bands to touch on, however I recommend checking out the line up from this past Elephant Talk Music Festival if you are looking for some new sounds from other amazing Indie bands! Check out the image gallery below from Sat/Sun of the fest, and click here to check out the wrap-up of Fridays acts! - Tri State Independent


By: Jeff Henry
11/17/2010
Poolesville, Maryland duo The Galt Line will perform an early set at The Bar Monkey, 68 East Main Street, Frostburg tomorrow night at 6:00 PM (November 18, 2010). The Galt Line is a two-piece band consisting of Willie Gammell and Blythe Crawford and their unique blend of Americana music fused with punk, folk, and blues.

The combination may sound noncomplementary, but it works. Blythe's snarling yet on-key vocals and ukulele playing are complimented by Willie's proficient guitar skills. For percussion, Blythe straps stringed beer bottle caps to her shins and stomps on a board (a technique used by blues musicians, minus the bottle caps).

The Bar Monkey is located across from the Frostburg Library. The show starts at 6:00pm - over 21 only. - The Appalachian Independent


By Harris Schwartzreich 3/1/11

The Galt Line is a swing duo from Maryland, and you really have to see them to believe them. So what sets them apart from the panoply of retro acts going around these days? Scorching female vocals, rattling bottlecaps for percussion, and last but not least, a true lead guitar. You could take Willie’s guitar licks and drop them into a full rock band and they wouldn’t sound out of place. But here they give the pair as much energy as any four-piece, all the while retaining their acoustic charm.

The bottom line is this is not swing in a time capsule. This is roots music that oozes rock energy, jazzy melodies, and blues turnarounds that’ll get you on the dance floor faster than you can say ‘Lady Gaga.’

The Galt Line is on tour as we speak, so be sure to check them out here (www.TheGaltLineBand.com). - 1146 Miles


The Galt Line is all about what moves you.

A band with a truly unique sound (their influences include R&B, Rockabilly, Swing, Country and Gypsy punk?), they thrive on the energy of their audience.

"Our greatest moments are when someone will let loose and dance," said Willie Gammel, The Galt Line's lead guitarist. "Every now and again we'll get a few brilliant drunks or some star-crossed couple who will step out and really start moving. We'll play forever if someone's dancing. We'll stretch a song for 10 minutes if it means that people will get up and enjoy themselves."?

Hailing from Poolesville, this past Saturday Gammel and Blythe Crawford, lead vocalist and ukulele player,? performed at Chloe's Coffee shop in The Kentlands.

The Galt Line displays their energetic style with a bit of a bluesy, old-American dance hall style and sound. These talented musicians masterfully wield their instruments to bring a finely crafted blend of music to their listeners, and it really is hard not to dance to.

With humble beginnings as a ukulele-guitar duo living in Brooklyn, NY, The Galt Crawford and Gammel were pursuing separate careers. Crawford was "a part of this show called 'Sex, Drugs, and Ukuleles', and was paid in part with a ukulele." Gammel was pursuing his career of studio session guitar work or a gig with a touring band.

Once Gammel heard some of Crawford's original ukulele music, he "was floored," he said. "The more we played together the more we enjoyed it, and we began booking shows and haven't stopped since."

After forming in 2008, The Galt Line moved back to the DC area to broaden their musical reach.

They have an exciting and rhythmic style, and exercise a real passion in the music they make. Creative chord progressions are one of The Galt Line's strong points. Listening to and watching The Galt Line perform, the music seemed to flow effortlessly.

For fans of intimate venues where you actually interact with a band, Chloe's Coffee was ideal. The acoustics were perfect for this kind of performance; an enclosed space allowed for the music to reverberate off the walls with minimal distortion and maximum music delivery to the listeners.

Alongside the instrumental talent, lyrical talent shines through The Galt Line's music. The song 'Helen Morgan' in particular was very funny. It displayed their creative lyrical diction with a catchy hook, "Oh Helen Morgan, won't you hurry up and die!"

The song also exhibits their musical talent with a variety of tempo and key switches, keeping the listeners right in the song. The percussive mix of string strums and instrumental thwacks made the duo sound as though it were a full band. Crawford, lead vocals, exhibits a huge range in her singing.

The Galt Line does not lack enthusiasm for their audience or fans. After the show I had the pleasure of speaking to both Blythe and Willie and found them to be such nice, amiable individuals.

I couldn't get a steady photo of them performing, the energy in the room kept the duo moving to the music. Through the whole show, I did not notice The Galt Line falter even once.

If you missed Chloe's Coffee show, your next chance to catch The Galt Line live in the DC area is at the Velvet Lounge on Nov. 21 at 9pm. To learn more about this band and to hear some of their music, check out The Galt Line's "Brand Spankin' New Website"!

-Jack Edwards 11/17/2010 - Patch: Gaithersburg


By Rachel Leon
February 13, 2011
The local band shares how they got started and what keeps them moving:

When Blythe Crawford and Willie Gammell dream of success, they don’t envision living on easy street in the accumulated wealth from suddenly making it big as a band.

The Galt Line duo would just like a little more time to do what they’re already doing: playing in coffee shops and seedy bars to small and enthusiastic crowds, and, in between shows, traveling the world.

“Our concept of success is being craftsmen and making a living,” Gammell said.

The D.C.-based band brought their blend of punk and rockabilly dance music (what they call “Screamin’ Swing”) to Shoe’s Cup and Cork Club in Leesburg on Feb. 9.

Their lyrics are wry and raw, and touch on everything from drinking too much, to surviving a bad job, to discovering a bedbug infestation. Crawford sings in a voice like whiskey and honey - smooth and warm, with a kick. They use guitar, ukulele, bottle caps, and foot stamps to create their highly rhythmic music that gives a nod to American folk and dance traditions, while still sounding new.

“We don’t want to sound antique,” Crawford said.

The two biggest influences for the band are Gogol Bordello, a Gypsy punk band, and the Count Basie Orchestra, a big band jazz group from the swing era.

The Galt Line was formed two years ago, after Crawford and Gammell moved up to Brooklyn, N.Y., together. Gammell was looking for guitar work, and Crawford was hoping to get into theatre. Both had played band instruments in high school, and after Crawford fell in love with the ukulele during a theatre production about a man who loved ukuleles, the two thought they would form a band to bring in a little extra money.

“But we realized there wasn’t much money to be made unless you really started doing it,” Crawford said.

Gammell is a fan of Ayn Rand and named the band after Atlas Shrugged character John Galt.

“We wanted something that sounded distinctly American, and the railroad reference helped out,” Gammell said. “It gives us a kick in the pants when we don’t feel like doing much.”

Gammell’s dream gig would be on the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans, La., since that was the womb for so many of the varied strains of the American music tradition. They’d someday like to have more band members, but right now they’re just enjoying the chance to meet new people and see new places.

The Galt Line will be back at Shoe’s Cup and Cork Club in Leesburg on April 13. Visit www.thegaltlineband.com for music, merchandise, and show times. Right now, the band is letting the buyer name the price for downloading the album. - Patch: Leesburg


Center Stage: Getting The Party Started
June 25th, 2010
by Dominique Agnew

Are you looking for angst? Do you want someone to wallow in your tears with you? Maybe you're angry and need to rage against the evil machinations around you. Well, some groups provide the songs and the emotions to commiserate with you, but don't expect any heavy lifting from The Galt Line. Guitarist Willie Gammell remarks, "We don't talk about our feelings very much." His cohort in crime, Blythe Crawford, sums it up succinctly, "We're just trying to throw a party."

Getting people moving is what they're all about, and moving around is what they've been doing a lot of, as well. Both Willie and Blythe hail from the Poolesville area, but lately, they've been everywhere but Poolesville. About three years ago, they had separately made their way to New York seeking individual opportunities, Willie with his guitar and possible session work, Blythe with the theater. Fate brought them together, and the music grew. "We didn't know what it would be," says Blythe, "but we pushed towards the music we liked." With Blythe contributing vocals, the ukulele (she acquired one from a production of "Sex! Drugs! And Ukuleles!), and leg percussion that she wears made out of bottle caps, the duo have created a unique American style- "a conglomeration of all American styles," adds Willie- fusing the blues, jazz, gypsy jazz, honky-tonk, country, bluegrass, and more.

With their desire for the touring life, Willie and Blythe decided that being in New York wasn't as important as they thought and that Poolesville could be an equally effective home base. When they perform in the area, Brian Truesdale joins them on bass and Mary Kate Schneider on the bodhran. While they tour, the call on people in their touring area for backup instruments; however, they've expanded their call to include more instruments, hoping to go for the large dance band feel. They've announced openings for horns and keyboards, as well as percussion and bass.


The dynamic duo has just finished a successful tour of the Midwest and the South, and after playing the D.C. metro area for the summer, they plan to start another tour in September.

They will be performing at Cugini's on June 26th from 8:00p.m. to 11:00p.m. Catch them while you can, and get ready to dance. - The Monocacy Monocle


The Galt Line
Apr 23, 2009 at 12:27 PM
By: Lisa Marie Basille
Rating: 8/11

Imagine knocking about a dusty honky tonk tavern with a bottle of whiskey in hand, sometime in the 1920s. Imagine the band onstage, their drunken country music floating around the room. Unlike a lot of bands that attempt to unsuccessfully and tackily conjure the sounds of the past, The Galt Line blends modernity with a serious hats-off to roots music.

Perhaps the coolest thing about this Brooklyn duo, comprised of Willie Gammell (guitar) and Blythe Crawford (vocals, ukulele), is their humble attitudes. Writing about their experiences at bars that weren't particularly bursting with audience members, they're excited anyway to play, to be heard and to have a good time.

"You've got to get up and dance and scream and, I don't know... punch someone. So we get up there and shout and beat our instruments while the crowd quietly bobs their heads and looks at their shoes," Crawford says.

With their appropriate mantra, "The Galt Line is less interested in moving people and more interested in getting people moving," they certainly (perhaps unknowingly) have the aptitude to do both. And they're a new effort, initiated in April 2008 after Crawford received a ukelele as retribution for working on Uke Jackson’s musical Sex! Drugs! And Ukuleles!

From there, she wrote solid songs that Gammell brings a real life to with his guitar-driven style, passionate and bluesy. His solos show a real knowledge of the instrument and of the genre, somewhere between the intricate threads of rockabilly, blues, old country and New Orleans-esque swing and jazz. Crawford's got the voice for it all, too, blending the croon of old-timers Ben Selvin and Jimmie Rodgers with the distant haunt of Ella Fitzgerald and the contemporary touch of Fiona Apple's vibrato.

In "The Worm," (you can hear this one live on their MySpace), the two manage to work up the bluesiness of Ray Charles' “Hit The Road, Jack.” And with lyrics like, "I just want to go outside/but I'm stuck staying on/Oh some days you just can't win oh lord/Some days you just can't win," Southern heartache sneaks up in an antiquated way.

Their sound clearly comes from their influences: "We both dig the folk/punk combo," Crawford says, citing music off the entire spectrum including Flogging Molly, Django Reinhardt and folks from the old Sun Records label.

Yes, Crawford and Gammell have a way of conjuring the ghosts of music past, but they're not a copycat duo. They've got a lot to offer, and a lot of obvious musical knowledge under their belt. Really, order a Johnny Walker of your choice and visit them at the many joints they'll be playing in the next few months — they deserve your time

- Knocks From The Underground


Posted April 13, 2010
Music: The Galt Line


I love live music.

I love musicians that seem to be enjoying themselves...that take what they're doing seriously, but know that the reason they were doing this in the first place was because it was fun.

And I love stuff off the beaten path creatively.

And, after catching a recent live show, I love The Galt Line.

Oh, I could burn up blogospace galore trying to describe what they were like...comparing them to this band and that band...Squirrel Nut Zippers meets, I don't know, Asylum Street Spankers...is that really all that big a stretch? Probably not. Who knows? What I do know is that they are infectious in the best way possible. By song two everyone was paying attention.

Electric uke, bottlecap leg shakers, bass, smoking guitar, a drum, and a lead vocal that makes you want to drink, smile, and try to remember when the last time you had as much fun as the band was having.

Blah blah blah. Like there's anything I could write that would be half as good as listening to them sing. Watch this bit of phone cam wonder:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFutTzY5gQY

How much fun would that be?

What's even better, they're all over the place, if you check out the show line-up here:
http://www.myspace.com/galtlineworkers
you'll see that they're playing all over the country...do yourself a favor...check the list and if they're near you...go. - The Corndog Rag


Discography

The Galt Line (2010)
Tracks: 1. Trouble, 2. Glass of Scotch, 3. Damocles, 4. Barfly Betty, 5. The Worm, 6. Chinatown Special, 7. Curtis Turner, 8. Cabin Fever, 9. Take Me Home, 10. Sailing, 11. Free Fall, 12. Chopo

Skin of Our Teeth (2011)
Tracks: 1. Helen Morgan, 2. Crazy Man, 3. In Loco Parentis, 4. A Little More, 5. Poor Boy John, 6. Feelies, 7. What I'd Do, 8. Your Mama, 9. Bedbugs, 10. Jezebel, 11. The Piper, 12. Roses

Photos

Bio

The Galt Line is a rootsy, screamin’ swing duo based in the Washington DC metro area. With wide-ranging influences that include R&B, Rockabilly, Western Swing, Jump Blues, and Gypsy Jazz, they have forged a sound that embraces music history without sounding antiquated.

The Galt Line started as a ukulele-guitar duo in 2008 when Blythe Crawford and Willie Gammell were living in Brooklyn. They perform now all over the U.S., electric or acoustic, in bars and coffee shops alike. They use their duo status to travel far and book for all situations.

Ultimately aiming to be a full-sized dance band, The Galt Line has developed an act geared toward audiences looking for a good time. Combining classic dance styles with a wry lyrical sensibility and wall-shaking energy, The Galt Line is less interested in moving people and more interested in getting people moving.

BLYTHE CRAWFORD (ukulele, vocals, bottle-cap leg stomper) began playing in April 2008 after receiving her uke in payment for service on the costume crew of Uke Jackson’s “Sex! Drugs! And Ukuleles!” (www.sexdrugsandukuleles.com). Sprouting songs faster than a Chia Pet, she wrote tune after tune after tune. From blithely satirical Honky-Tonk ballads to Southern Blues romps and Swing-styled burners, she turned out songs in many styles that lyrically reflect her playful and critical perspective.

WILLIE GAMMELL (guitar) started playing at the age of 15, cutting his teeth on Blues and Psychedelic. Through playing, schooling, and teaching, he developed a solid technique and an ear tuned to the roots of American music.