Some time ago I received an email from Michel Ebben in response to my review of the CD of Daisy Cools. He brought the debut album from his own band Gravel Town, “From Grace” to my attention. Michel describes the band as a mix between country / rock / blues / Americana. As most important influences John Hiatt, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty are referenced.
If such big names are mentioned, my interest is aroused quickly. To be fair, I should mention that this interest can be both positive or negative.
Negative because there are so many bands that find themselves totally awesome and are influenced by the most famous artists, but ultimately appear not even to be an average rock band.
However, Gravel Town does not belong to that category. Occasionally there is a band that extends well above average and make expectations come true. The first time I listened, I got positively surprised, not least because of the extremely mature, un-Dutch sound. This is high grade alternative Country / Americana. I don’t really recognize the music of Bob Dylan in it, but I do hear John Hiatt and Tom Petty though. Occasionally the raw voice of Ebben even makes me think of Tom Waits, an artist of which I am a great fan myself.
In the music of Gravel Town you find yourself in the Arizona desert, driving through deserted villages in a dilapidated American car from a bygone era. It is certainly not innovative, but who cares? Does this sound unbelievably delicious!
“From Grace” is a must-have record for any self-respecting alternative Country / Americana lover.
Hopefully this Rotterdam band will be noticed by the media and receives the attention it deserves. Gravel Town is ready for it. Crossing Border, Lowlands, and other major national and even international venues should follow!
Translated from the original Dutch article with consent of the author