The Gentlemen's Bet
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The Gentlemen's Bet

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"Are They The Best Men? - The Gentlemen's Bet"

The Gentlemen's Bet is like that kid in your class who tried to be good at everything you weren't -- lucky for us, we're not 12 and don't seem to care. The Boston-based TGB blends just about every genre of music -- rock, folk, jazz, blues -- into one indescribable sound that can only be named as ''really good'' with due promise to marry into "great."
Start with their slow songs. Take the song "Beverly" - in our humble opinion, half rock half potential elevator music (we say this with a respect to jazz, not elevators), sprinkled with mellow psychedelic vibes -- this music is more than chill, it lets you peacefully melt away.

What really gives these gentlemen the extra punch is that they go beyond the standard 4 piece band. Their songs are embellished with the jazzy sounds of trumpet and alto sax. Skip on the vocals for now, and just delve into the good old fashioned music.

Let's give these guys a good chance. They're on tour now in the East, promoting their debut LP, From a Greater Height.

Grab a pair of ears and head downtown:

August 22nd, 2009 - 7.30pm - Spike Hill
184 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11211 - $5

URL: http://tambourineshake.blogspot.com/2009/07/are-they-best-men-gentlemens-bet.html - Tambourine Shake


"One To Watch: The Gentlemen's Bet"

STORYLINE MUSIC - An unraveled measure of twine leading us someplace new and beautiful; a solitary leaf bouncing down a city avenue on an unseen wind. The moment between notes of a slow-moving song... The deliberate composition of a song, punctuated by saxophone and drum, interrupted (perfectly)by voice and guitar. All of these odd, but strangely apt descriptions come to mind after just one mesmerizing listen to The Gentlemen's Bet.

MEET THE GENTLEMEN - The product of three songwriters – Andrew Lappin, Aaron Gardony, and Dusty Nichols-Schmolze – who decided to combine forces in the Winter of 2006 during their freshman year at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Since then, the band has assumed various incarnations both in concert and in the studio in order to realize the creative visions of its three principal members.

BRINGING YOU THE BEST - Regardless of the line-up, The Gentlemen’s Bet has sought to work within the American tradition by combining elements of rock n’ roll, folk, jazz, blues, country, soul, and psychedelia in order to craft a sound that is its own. The band's latest full-length album (2009) is, "From A Great Height" is a tremendous effort with at least four songs we absolutely loved on the very first listen. That's winning stuff! Be on the look out for "Big Gunpowder Falls" - their new album due out in January.

http://www.rslblog.com/2009/12/one-to-watch-gentlemens-bet.html - Ryan's Smashing Life


"The Gentlemen’s Bet Temporarily Melt My Jadedness"

Here is where this whole submission shenanigans becomes worthwhile. Even though a frustratingly-large portion of my work on this blog involves going through emails about weird French disco bands and remixes that I have no interest in (but that I still listen to out of some weird Catholic obligation to hear everything that someone has taken the time to send me), the frustration melts away when I come across a song like the one below. This brass-filled gem comes from The Gentlemen’s Bet. It is grand:

The Gentlemen’s Bet – The Waltz

The highlight for me comes just before the 3-minute mark, when the brass and the piano go off on their own sweet, melodic way. Visually, it can only be expressed thusly:

(FUN FACT: I spent a goddamn half-hour trying to find a GIF of that gesture.)
“The Waltz” is one of six songs featured on The Gentlemen’s Bet’s new release, Big Gunpowder Falls. And really, there are at least 3 other songs on that album I could have posted where our fingertip-kissing Asian friend could have provided apt visual accompaniment – “The Waltz” just happens to be my favorite at the moment.

All the songs from Big Gunpowder Falls are currently streaming at their Myspace page, along with tracks from their debut album (From A Great Height) and a several YouTube clips. According to the band’s Twitter page (ANOTHER FUN FACT: this is the first time I’ve done a link to someone’s Twitter – I’m with the times now!), their album should be available for purchase in March, just prior to a hopeful April tour of the east coast. So give the songs plenty of listens now, but remember to come back and show The Gentlemen’s Bet some monetary love in a couple weeks.

(FINAL FUN FACT: This was supposed to be part of my ongoing Great Inbox Clearance but I decided that they were too good to have this post festooned with lemur pictures. The lemurs will be back real soon, though.)

URL: http://www.theopeningacts.com/2010/01/the-gentlemens-bet/ - The Opening Acts


"The Gentlemen's Bet debut full-length is diverse and energetic"

The Gentlemen's Bet will not be playing Spring Fling this year, and that's really a shame. The band's self-released, full-length debut album, "From a Great Height" (2009), offers a diverse array of well-arranged songs that would be fantastic to listen to outside on a sunny day. Listeners new to the band's style of rock are sure to find at least a couple of songs that feel instantly familiar on an LP that is by turns both energetic and introspective.

Formed at Tufts in the winter of 2006, The Gentlemen's Bet includes seniors Alex Clough (keyboard), Aaron Gardony (bass), Andrew Lappin (lead guitar and producer), Dusty Nichols-Schmolze (guitar and vocals), Joey Stein (drums), sophomore Malcolm Kearns (saxophone) and junior trumpeters Mark Adams and Zach Amdurer.

The band released a self-titled, four-song EP in 2007. Weighing in at 10 tracks, "From a Great Height" represents a big step forward for the band, both in terms of quality and musical style. The album kicks off with the aptly named blues-rocker "Good Times." Carefully layered horns, pounding drums, rollicking piano and raunchy guitar compliment Nichols-Schmolze's unrepentant vocals. Above all, the song plays like a call to action, a summons that enthusiastically welcomes the listener to the album the same way that the song could welcome an audience in a live setting.

Unfortunately, "Good Times" is atypical of the album; The Gentlemen's Bet tends to favor slower and often darker ballads, like "Beverly," "Zodiac" and "Silver" over the more joyous sounds of its opening track. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the band nevertheless puts in a solid effort. However, it does significantly cut down on the energy and pace of "From a Great Height."

On some of these more ominous numbers, Nichols-Schmolze's vocals feature a ghostly reverb effect à la Jim James of My Morning Jacket. While his high-pitched crooning is on key, it sometimes feels over the top, as though it were an afterthought to the rest of the song.

Just as there are minor ballads, there are also laid-back, major-key tunes. Two numbers in particular, the funky "In the Riverbed" and the chilled-out, bluesy "Swiss Miss Shores" show that the band is equally comfortable kicking out the slow jams. Melodic and relaxing, these songs are reminiscent of slow soul, falling thematically somewhere near Soulive, John Mayer or Westbound Train.

Perhaps most importantly, this debut album goes a long way toward fulfilling the traditional mission of a debut album in that it attempts to capture and replicate in-studio the dynamics of the band's live show. The Gentlemen's Bet performed some of the album's tracks at the ROCKUS Battle of the Bands Semi-Final, and while its sound is more polished in some respects on the record, it is not fundamentally altered. Listening to the songs on "From a Great Height," one gets the feeling that the band could easily be performing in a live setting just as skillfully. With eight of the 10 tracks on the album clocking in at longer than five minutes, one gets the sense that none of the jamming inherent in its live set has been significantly cut.

Nor have the tones of instruments been noticeably enhanced. In an independent music world that is all too frequently plagued with unnecessary noise-based art rock, The Gentlemen's Bet have eschewed excessive studio wizardry for the more simplistic, classic-rock sound of their genre. The band achieves an authenticity that the rock listener is sure to appreciate.

Overall, "From a Great Height" is an admirable first effort from a student band that evades characterization, dancing between rock, funk, jazz and soul with uncommon agility. It's unfortunate that that this agility won't be a part of Spring Fling, but the album gives listeners a fairly reliable idea of what that performance would sound like.

URL: http://www.tuftsdaily.com/the-gentlemen-s-bet-debut-full-length-is-diverse-and-energetic-1.1711799 - The Tufts Daily


"The Gentlemen's Bet - Big Gunpowder Falls"

February 3, 2010

This damned post is long overdue. Nobody likes excuses, so I'll just stick with my usual defense and blame it on Keith. The Gentlemen's Bet is a kick-ass band that was started by three songwriters from Brooklyn and Massachusetts. The guys met while studying at Tufts, or studied while playing music at Tufts, or some combination therein. They went through a few phases of live shows and jam sessions, and finally found their line-up and arrived at their mission. Which, as the band states, is to "(combine) elements of rock 'n roll, folk, jazz, blues, country, soul, and psychedelia in order to craft a sound that is it's own." Wrap all that stuff up in a tortilla and give me a bottle of Tapatio sauce, and I'll be one happy camper.

Big Gunpowder Falls is set to be released in March and is the band's follow-up to their self-released 2009 LP, From A Great Height. I definitely recommend checking out both albums. In their debut, the band accomplished their mission by creating some killer music that above all else, is unique. Make sure to listen to "Good Times" which reminds me a bit of the Grateful Dead with a seriously cool big-band jazzy twist, and "Zodiac" which is what I would imagine would happen if Band Of Horses and The Black Keys did a song together.

In the new release they're relying on the same core styles and talents but, as the title ensenuates, Big Gunpowder Falls starts off with a bang. "Small Talk" leads it off and comes out of the gate rocking. I really dig how this track starts off loud and in your face, and then breaks down by weaving in some psychedelic guitar riffs and wavy vocals that almost lull you into the song. Then, boom, it's back 'atcha with some screaming keyboard and more guitars. "So Sweet" juxtaposes track one's up-tempo with a super smooth groover and backing vocals that remind me a bit of Dr. Dog. "Locust Grove" could be my favorite track on the album. Smoother than Nutella and sweeter than bubblegum, this track makes me want to skip through the park in the summertime and drink lemonade with a cute girl on a blanket. I had to go to my cupboard to check on the proper spelling of Nutella. Anyhow, this is a great follow-up to a great debut, by a band that I think we'll be hearing a lot from. With the types of styles that these guys intertwine, I'm sure that their upcoming tour will provide for some amazing live shows. Check out the video below of their rocker ballad "Bulldoze Bill," and make sure to stop by their MySpace for news on their tour and album release.

http://www.frontporchmusings.com/2010/02/gentlemens-bet-big-gunpowder-falls.html - Front Porch Musings


"CD on Songs - 2/3/2010: Track review of "So Sweet""

February 3, 2010

Gentleman's Bet - "So Sweet"

"So Sweet" starts off almost like a revved-up version of the initial chord progression from "A Day in the Life." Instead of going through the news today (oh boy), it instead kicks itself into gear and gets its butt out the door, sauntering around its own musical neighborhood like it's lived there forever and is the boss.

"So Sweet" seems able to cruise around its neighborhood in style using a variety of vehicles while still retaining the character of the song. The vocal is richly melodic and enjoyable in that it really explores different levels of varying dynamics all the while never straining at the edges to hit out-of-reach notes at either end of the register. When the almost ever-present vocal gives way to a guitar, it's the same feel, just a different sound.

"So Sweet" is a comfortable sounding song in the way that your neighborhood is comfortable. It's much too boisterous to stay inside, but just right for a brisk walk around the block, glad-handing neighbors and waving to passing vehicles, regardless of how familiar the drivers might be. And you know what - it's a fun place to be.

http://www.bostonbandcrush.com/2010/02/feature-crush-cd-on-songs-020310.html - Boston Band Crush


Discography

The Gentlemen's Bet E.P. - 2007
From a Great Height (LP) - 2009
Big Gunpowder Falls (EP) - Spring 2010

Tracks from "From a Great Height" and the E.P. have been played on the air at 91.5 WMFO (Tufts University radio) and 88.9 WERS (Emerson University Radio), two Boston area stations.

Photos

Bio

The Gentlemen's Bet is the product of three songwriters – Andrew Lappin, Aaron Gardony, and Dusty Nichols-Schmolze – who decided to combine forces in the Winter of 2006 during their freshman year at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Since then, the band has assumed various incarnations both in concert and in the studio in order to realize the creative visions of its three principal members. Regardless of the line-up, The Gentlemen’s Bet has sought to work within the American tradition by combining elements of rock n’ roll, folk, jazz, blues, country, soul, and psychedelia in order to craft a sound that is its own.

In April 2009, the band independently released its debut LP, "From a Great Height." Since that time The Gentlemen’s Bet has promoted that release while continuing to write and arrange new songs. The band embarked on a summer tour in 2009, hitting stops along the East Coast such as Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. In Spring 2010, the Gentlemen's Bet will release its new "mini-album" titled Big Gunpowder Falls that features songs the band debuted on its summer outings.

About Big Gunpowder Falls: On the heels of their debut LP, From a Great Height, the Brooklyn by-way-of Massachusetts band The Gentlemen’s Bet is releasing its follow-up, titled Big Gunpowder Falls. Written during the Spring and Summer of 2009, Big Gunpowder Falls finds The Gentlemen’s Bet further refining and expanding the sound it displayed on last year’s From a Great Height LP. While the band has retained its larger-than-life guitar-centric sound and diligent attention to arrangements, it ventures into uncharted sonic territory on its new album. Big Gunpowder Falls was recorded at the Sound Machine Studio in Manhattan over the course of the Summer of 2009, and it is the inaugural release on the band’s own Stereomania imprint. The album was mastered by the acclaimed engineer Alan Douches (Fleetwood Mac, My Morning Jacket, Animal Collective) at his West West Side Music Studio in New Windsor, NY. Andrew Lappin, the band’s lead guitarist, is the credited recording and mixing engineer as well as the producer. “We took our time with this record,” says Lappin. “With From a Great Height, Dusty [Nichols-Schmolze, singer and guitarist] or I would write songs on our own and then bring them into rehearsal when they were finished. We would do some arranging as a whole band, but for the most part the songs were already completed. On Big Gunpowder Falls we collaborated a lot more and worked together to flesh out our ideas that hadn’t necessarily become songs yet. Touring over the summer also allowed us to develop the songs more and find room for improvement.” Nichols-Schmolze had this to add: “With Big Gunpowder Falls, we wanted to work on the intimacy between the band and the listener; that is, we wanted the instruments and vocals crisp, clear, and upfront, without having to sacrifice the blaring guitars and big drums that characterized our last album.” Even from a casual listen, one can immediately hear that Big Gunpowder Falls is a sunnier, poppier record than From a Great Height was. Whereas the band’s previous LP was a dark, often lo-fi affair soaked in cavernous reverb, Big Gunpowder Falls bursts with energy while also immersing the listener in its lush, intimate production. Drawing on musical inspirations as diverse as 60s pop, classic rock, and Italian film music, Big Gunpowder Falls synthesizes all of these disparate influences into a cohesive and gorgeously original sound.

Big Gunpowder Falls will be available online and at shows as a download or physical CD.