Review of From Grace – Jaap Koper

Cold in September

Although September just started, Gravel Town is now really launching their album ‘From Grace’. Those who listen to the album carefully, will see an endless American landscape with sand and dust where you drive for hours and stop somewhere in a village to be surprised by country folk and blues music that the local pub presents you. Honest and authentic Americana as Gravel Town describes it.


The band

The band consists of Michel and Martijn Ebben, Mark Lubeek, Hans Glerum and started in 2007 with Lubeeks’ predecessor Niels Vloemans. In that year, Gravel Town also started rehearsals because Michel Ebben already had written a lot of material as a singer-songwriter. The hard work of the quartet leads them to a Czech festival, and in 2008 they continue by the name of ‘The Plastic Shark Project’. In 2012, after a replacement in the band, they decide to change their name to the current name ‘Gravel Town’.


National attention

Meanwhile, the band has been in the picture at national radio stations and the EO asked the band from the Rotterdam region to play an acoustic version of ‘Cold September Day’ in the NPO Radio 1 program ‘Dit is de dag’. You can hear it on the Gravel Town facebook page. The band probably has to thank Popunie, and for their reviews that may have helped to accomplish this. Perhaps a couple of songs might make it to a Sunday morning on NPO Radio 2, because some songs do fit in a Sunday morning feeling.


From Grace

‘From Grace’ has songs with a narrative character. Sometimes compelling and sometimes dreamy. Michel Ebben has a lived voice. ‘Ghost Of Modern Times’ tells the story of a man who has lost himself. Being chased by the devil, he tries to dissuade any man from the straight path. Most of them don’t fall for it thanks to the warning. The song has a touch of John Cougar Mellencamp, yet also some Tom Petty. The presence of Petty is heard clearly in the song following ‘Ghost Of Modern Times’. ‘Middletown Avenue’. The memory lives in each footstep, as the thought of that one lost love returns. Gravel Town honors John Hiatt. ‘Hold On To Your Love’ is on the album.


The future

While the album is available to the general public this month, Gravel Town is busy. It tastes like more. The plans for a new album are already in the pipeline and the band is looking for a broader audience. They expect to accomplish this with gigs throughout the country to get attention for the debut album. The album ‘From Grace’ was released by FYIFY and is for sale online and at independent record stores as a physical copy.

Jaap Koper
Alternative FM @ ZFM Zandvoort 106.9 FM


Translated from the original Dutch article with consent of the author