Heavy Blues trio The Wooden Shields release debut album “First Fall of the Axe”
They will bring you awesome blues guitar riffs, fast Rock ‘n Roll rhythms and howlin’ vocals. But above all the Wooden Shields hailing from Paris, France are good musicians that play a mix of heavy Blues and Rock ‘n Roll in various styles. Their inspitation comes from the Delta to the Chicago blues and from the Bay Area to the far East Coast. You will quickly notice that their music easy fits the liquor bottle it is made for.
Wooden Shields Album “First Fall of the Axe”
After releasing two singles and a live album, their first full length studio album was just “First Fall of the Axe” released. In the Wooden Shields you will hear a sound that is comparable to the Black Keys or Reign Wolf. Inspired by the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough the Wooden Shields are able to create some of the best composed songs around. The diversity of the songs on this album really amazed and therefore it is a pleasure to listen to it.
“With a poised, soulful croon, the band sing out each of their battle songs as if it is their last fight. To witness one of their shows is to stand exhausted on a field of battle and survey the scars and bruises left by the wild energy and the fuzzy sound.”
Imagine the music of Seattle based blues band GravelRoad as a vintage tour through American garage and roots music. GravelRoad is a groove machine, inspired by the early Mississippi blues greats and combined with Rock ´n Roll and Garage rawness. After releasing seven albums including two with blues legend T-Model Ford they are set to release “El Scuerpo”, GravelRoad’s best album yet.
El Scuerpo the best album yet
The music of Gravelroad fits each moment of the day and “El Scuerpo” is a good example of that statement. On ‘El Scuerpo’ you will experience how garage and heavy rock are close family of original blues from the Mississippi. GravelRoad knows very well how to bring it all together.
“El Scuerpo” is a heavier album than the other albums, sometimes comparable with Black Sabbath “as if they had grown up in Mississippi”. Vocalist and Guitarist Stephen explains: “We used Sabbath as a touchstone and reference to give some context to our heavier sound. Then again, the music speaks for itself. The root of all we do is in the blues, which of course influenced rock and roll and heavy rock, so a natural progression”.
The Backbone of their music lays in the blues of artists like R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimborough, Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell and of course T-Model Ford. An example of the influence is Fred Mc Dowell’s Song Gravel Road Blues which was the inspiration for the band name.
‘El Scuerpo seems to be an album of old and new GravelRoad material. “Some of the songs on ‘El Scuerpo’ are old ones that the we used to play years back, and others just came quite spontaneously. – like 40 Miles. Which came to me almost fully formed. Another one, Asteroid, is based on a riff I have been playing since I first picked up the guitar. It just came back to my consciousness and asked to be crafted into an epic heavy tune”.
“Sometimes a song is fully formed when introduced to the band, and others are simply a riff or 3, maybe even some lyrics, and the band helps arrange it, maybe even adding more to it.”
GravelRoad and T-Model Ford
Throughout the repertoire of GravelRoad you will hear a great groove, you will move your head, tap your feet and rhyme along with it. That groove could be the reason for Chris Johnson (founder of Deep Blues) to ask the band help T-Model Ford to the Deep Blues Festival in 2008. Stephen recalls: “Marty (drummer) and I used to travel around to see T play, and Marty went down to Mississippi to live for a few months years before we even started playing with T. We were asked to help bring T to Deep Blues in 2008 by the founder of that festival, Chris Johnson, and never looked back. T really enjoyed playing with us and you know damn well we enjoyed playing with him!”
Future plans GravelRoad
While El Squerpo hasn’t officially been released on stage, GravelRoad is already working on songs for the next album. As indicated GravelRoad is a band for every moment of the day, and: “So far, it looks like the next album will mostly be a deep, deep Hill Country album, perhaps with a few surprises thrown in”, Stephen reveals.
During the Spring of 2015 GravelRoad will be visiting Europe with a tour through Germany, Poland, Holland and Belgium. If there is one thing sure about these guys: they know how to play them Blues!