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“Girls Guns and Glory were the buzz band of the AMA conference. I expect them to break out in a major way.” — Robert Weingartz (AirPlay Direct)
“Girls Guns and Glory delivered a graceful, sturdy set of Buddy Holly-meets-Buck Owens twang ‘n’ roll that translated to the night’s most sublime performance. Singer-guitarist Ward Hayden has the pillowy voice of a ’50s pin-up star — the constant comparisons to crooners like Chris Isaak and Lyle Lovett are well-deserved — and his band’s amber-soaked melodies, tight musicianship, and casual elegance were a tonic to an evening.” – The Boston Globe
“(Girls Guns & Glory) had a smooth, authentic Honky Tonk/early Rock & Roll vibe that was incredibly endearing. The group won over the packed house at Mr. Pitiful’s “in less than half a verse, no lie,”" – City Beat (Cincinnatti, OH)
“Girls, Guns and Glory just might re-ignite the whole country-rock scene in New England…GG&G has some serious country music chops, but they also kick it up with rock ‘n’ roll abandon.” – The Patriot Ledger
“Imagine Lyle Lovett and Chris Isaak paying tribute to classic American rock n’ roll from Elvis, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison.” – The Boston Herald
“Bourbon’s doesn’t feature chicken wire around the stage or peanut hulls on the floor, but the new venue felt like a Southern roadhouse on Friday night when Girls Guns and Glory rocked the joint, roots style.” – The Wire (Portsmouth, NH)
“Girls Guns and Glory isn’t your typical rock n’ roll band. They burst into their first set, treating a capacity crowd to lick to tunes that would even make Charlie Daniels and Tom Petty tip their hats.” – The Noise
Americana fest proves positive; Girls Guns And Glory gets buzz
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 – By Jeffrey B. Remz
… Since the conference is all about the music, the band among the unknowns that drew a lot of praise was Girls Guns and Glory from the Boston area. Three people praised them in unsolicited comments about the band Saturday night. “I thought it was great,” said the band’s lead singer Ward Hayden on Tuesday back on tour in Albany, N.Y. “We all had a bunch of fun. It was out first time down to Nashville…The crowd was very kind. All of us walked away pretty happy.”
“I like them. I thought they were strong,” said Seth Funderburk of Sea Note Recording of Myrtle Beach, S.C. Tuesday. “I didn’t know a whole lot about them so I didn’t know what to expect. They fit right in with the Cross Canadian, alt.-country side of the movement.”
“I’m not firmly sure what they are yet, but they put on a pretty decent show,” said veteran radio promoter and manager Brad Hunt. “I was taken by surprise.” (more)
A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock n’ Roll
The Boston Globe
BROOKLINE — They may come from places named Scituate and Hingham, but their sound is pure south of the Mason-Dixon line. They’re Girls Guns & Glory, one of the hottest bands in Boston right now, and their vibrant new CD, “Pretty Little Wrecking Ball,” offers ample testimony to New England’s thriving roots music scene, where bluegrass and blues, and country and western are as much a part of the landscape as punk and garage rock.
3G singer and rhythm guitarist Ward Hayden is only 25, but his flexible tenor and songs of sin, redemption, and loss sound of a much older vintage, seasoned with personal pain and spiked with copious amounts of Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers . Hayden says he first sought out the music of the country giants in college, and what he heard “did something to me.”
“I wish I could put my finger on it, exactly,” says Hayden over dinner and drinks with his bandmates at Matt Murphy’s Pub. “There’s definitely something about that music that you don’t hear too much nowadays. [Williams's] life was about heartache — he was writing about things he knew — so he was very true to himself. His music wasn’t overproduced or flashy. Never did I not believe a single word that he said, because it was honest.”
Hayden, with ’50s-style pin-up good looks, is as slight and sharp-featured as Williams was. Unlike his idol, however, he opts for water over whiskey as the pints flow for his bandmates. Despite 3G’s hard-bitten odes to demon alcohol on “Wrecking Ball,” like “Brown Bottle Blues,” Hayden’s choice of beverage is a sign that his life expectancy will surely surpass that of his spiritual mentor, who died young in an alcoholic haze in the back of a baby-blue Cadillac.
Still, Hayden confesses that many of the tracks that make up “Wrecking Ball,” whose release the band celebrates tomorrow night with a show at Harpers Ferry, come from personal strife — namely, a long-term relationship that broke up and sent Hayden into an emotional tailspin. That’s when he began writing the clutch of songs that appear on the new disc. “It seems to me that Wardy comes up with three or four songs a week,” says percussionist Brendan Murphy, grinning approvingly. Over the past year or so, echoes drummer John Graham, “it seems like we’ve picked up steam.”
In an effort to capture that steam on tape, 3G began recording at Scituate’s Noise in the Attic Studios last summer. Despite working within the classic but familiar framework of old-school country cut with a dose of roots rock, “Wrecking Ball” feels like an exciting blast of fresh air. “I tried to bring that stage feel and energy to the studio,” Hayden says. “We wanted to capture the essence of our live performances.”
Kier Byrnes, front man for the Boston bluegrass-punk outfit Three Day Threshold (they’ll join 3G for tomorrow’s show), calls the quintet one of his “favorite bands in town.” Girls Guns & Glory, he says via e-mail, “has a live show that rivals any of the bands you’d see in the Beale Street juke joints of Memphis or the famed honky tonks on Nashville’s Lower Broadway.” Furthermore, Byrnes adds, Hayden’s “got a great sense of composition and arrangement and his abilities just keep evolving. He borrows elements of early rock ‘n’ roll, folk and country music and creates something totally different and modern.”
Murphy proudly calls the album “our crowning achievement,” and claims the key to 3G’s getting a robust, swinging sound that’s natural rather than studied has to do with band chemistry. “I don’t think that when we play a song we’re thinking about genres,” he says. “We all have different ideas about what we like, and that’s why it comes out the way it does.”
“I’m not a folk musician and I’m not a country drummer,” adds Graham, shirking the genre descriptions that usually surround the band. “I like to hit ‘em really hard.” And, as lead guitarist Colin Toomey interjects, “I can’t play like a country guitar player — I’m a rock ‘n’ roll guitar player.” Add to that bassist Bruce “Tad” Beagley’s love of outlaw country and traditional Irish music, and Hayden’s high, lonesome howl of an earlier age, and you’ve got a novel tweak on traditional expectations. The approach, 3G’s members agree, is both a reaction and response to much of modern rock and country radio.
“I would say definitely,” Hayden says. “For a long time I was hearing stuff on country radio that was formulaic and didn’t grab me. I’m not going to lie, though — some of the pop songs come on and they’re pretty good. There is some good contemporary stuff out there, and every once in a while they knock it out of the park. But [modern] country music is some of the worst in terms of formula, and that turns me off.”
Girls Guns & Glory are here, they say, to offer an alternative: “There’s definitely a strategy, and it’s about putting our music in front of people and giving them the chance to check us out and hear it,” says Hayden. “Hopefully, we’ll put on a good show, they’ll get their five dollars’ worth, and go home happy.”
What you want to call them, they say, is up to you. But right now, after drinks and dinner, they’ve got to jump-start Beagley’s old pickup, which is on the fritz again. They bid goodbye with Beagley in the driver’s seat, turning the ignition and steering as the truck rolls down Harvard Street, the rest of the band pushing the vehicle from behind at full gallop. With a sudden roar, the truck rumbles to life, and the guys grab a foothold and hop aboard. The ride may be bumpy, but the pickup, and the band, are headed in the right direction.
Win Over a New Crowd
City Beat (Cinncinnatti, OH)
“(Girls Guns & Glory) had a smooth, authentic Honky Tonk/early Rock & Roll vibe that was incredibly endearing. The group won over the packed house at Mr. Pitiful’s “in less than half a verse, no lie.”
The Boston Globe – Live Review
The Boston Globe
“Girls Guns and Glory delivered a graceful, sturdy set of Buddy Holly-meets-Buck Owens twang ‘n’ roll that translated to the night’s most sublime performance. Singer-guitarist Ward Hayden has the pillowy voice of a ’50s pin-up star — the constant comparisons to crooners like Chris Isaak and Lyle Lovett are well-deserved — and his band’s amber-soaked melodies, tight musicianship, and casual elegance were a tonic to an evening.”
Best Roots Act
The Boston Phoenix
“A twangy country-folk band might not best represent the majority of music that’s coming out of Boston, but Girls Guns & Glory is a DAMNED GOOD AMBASSADOR FOR THE HUB’S LOCAL TALENT. An eclectic blend of musical styles that’s reminiscent of Johnny Cash one minute, CCR the next, the all-male quintet mixes catchy melodies with cowboy vocals and creative percussion, hurling grit (sometimes grits) and heart into every tune.”
Re-ignite Country Rock!
The Patriot Ledger
“Girls, Guns and Glory just might re-ignite the whole country-rock scene in New England…GG&G has some serious country music chops, but they also kick it up with rock ‘n’ roll abandon.”
The Boston Herald
“Imagine Lyle Lovett and Chris Isaak paying tribute to classic American rock n’ roll from Elvis, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison.”
The Wire (Portsmouth, NH) – Live Review
“Bourbon’s doesn’t feature chicken wire around the stage or peanut hulls on the floor, but the new venue felt like a Southern roadhouse on Friday night when Girls Guns and Glory rocked the joint, roots style.”
CD Release Review
“Girls Guns and Glory isn’t your typical rock n’ roll band. They burst into their first set, treating a capacity crowd to lick to tunes that would even make Charlie Daniels and Tom Petty tip their hats.”
Foot Stomping Sorrow
The Mass Media – University of Massachusetts Newspaper
Girls Guns & Glory bring old fashioned country to Boston
By Michael Hogan
There was a time when country music spoke with a Southern twang, steel guitars and fiddles sang out songs of heartache and pain. Today’s country music has become more like disco with a Southern accent, dance worthy songs about tequila and tractors. Now, I’ve got no problem with tequila, tractors, or dance worthy songs. I just miss the days when Johnny Cash and Hank Williams could bring a tear to your eye with simple heartfelt lyrics of loss and sorrow. Well, I think I have found my cure. With the release of Girls, Guns, and Glory’s new album Pretty Little Wrecking Ball country music has found its tear-stained roots again.
Front-man Ward Hayden, has crafted 13 songs that hearken back to the days of lost loves and lost jobs that once permeated the country scene. The Boston-based band is made up of Hayden, percussionist Brendan Murphy, lead guitarist Colin Toomey, drummer John Graham, and bassist Bruce “Bagley” Beagley. Though they hail from the Northeast, a place known for anything but country music, the music says otherwise. Hayden’s warbling voice soars over the acoustic rhythms of these soulful creations. Listening to Girls, Guns, and Glory, I feel more like I am sitting in a good old-fashioned Texas honky tonk than in front of a roaring fire in the midst of the New England winter.
Many of the songs on this album are perfect representations of the musical enigma the country genre has been searching for from the beginning and has rarely found foot stomping sorrow. Songs like “Brown Bottle Blues,” “Big Man,” “Love God and Murder,” “Oh My,” “Born Mad,” and the title track Floorow with an infectious rhythm that you can’t help put tap your toe to. At the same time there are tracks like “Just Can’t Win,” “Wait a Minute,” “Here’s To the Girls,” “Just for Gold,” and the heartbreaking “Tennessee Rose” that have a more mellow tone, a passive beat just as contagious as the more energetic songs, but still they chime with a certain quiet passion. On Pretty Little Wrecking Ball, we find the best of both worlds when it comes to country music; the resonating beat that makes you want to get your dancing boots on and the deeply truthful insights into the darker, more depressing, side of humanity.
Girls, Guns, and Glory spend a lot of time touring the Boston area, bringing their own brand of music to the denizens of the Northeast who are starved for live country music. These are shows for the people who don’t want to have to wait for Kenny Chesney to bring his friends to Gillette for the annual summer Countryfest. It ain’t Rascal Flatts but it’s pretty damn close. If you want to catch Girls, Guns, and Glory in person you can do so on April 28th at Matt Murphy’s Pub in Brookline.