Yankee Grey Biography
Last updated: 07/28/2007 12:00:00 PM
It's no coincidence that Yankee Grey's debut album is titled "Untamed," since there is simply no better word that describes the band's musical persona and philosophy about performing.
"We have been known to get more than a little 'untamed' when we play," says lead vocalist Tim Hunt. "We're extremely energetic, not just for the sake of the show, but because we're just having so much fun out there night after night."
Yankee Grey's six members all share a burning desire and abiding love for making music, and that love for performing comes through loud and clear on their Monument Records' debut. Every ounce of energy and raucous, rowdy fun can be heard in the album's ten tracks, which were recorded with very few overdubs to preserve the excitement of Yankee Grey's live sound.
From the dramatic start of the first single, "All Things Considered," a song describing someone having a really, really bad day, the listener is treated to more than a hint of the fire and energy that drives this hard-working band. Country radio caught the Yankee Grey fever early and took the debut single into the Top 10 where it stayed for an astounding nine weeks. Only two other new acts cracked the Top 10 with a debut single in 1999.
Yankee Grey's diverse range and rich vocal harmonies shine through in all songs like the catchy "Another Nine Minutes," which finds the subject making the world wait via snooze button after being awakened from the sweetest dream, to the funky "This Ain't It" and the rolling "I Know How You Feel." The band’s infectious sense of fun is undeniably apparent as they cut loose on the barn-burning title track, which, incidentally, was recorded live and shows what happens when the band is given the chance to let loose on their instruments. They easily shift gears into tender, emotional territory on songs like the quiet, prayer-like ballad, "This Time Around," and the heartfelt "There's Only One," in which a man finds the perfect time and place to propose marriage. The collection is a solid debut effort by a band that no doubt expects to be making music to uplift the soul for many years to come.
Perhaps Yankee Grey's love of performing together and ultra-tight sound has to do with the band's unique shared history. Formed in their hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, the six members of Yankee Grey all worked the same local club circuit in various bands for more than a decade before joining forces to become the band they are now.
"We're always blown away when we stop and think about how we all ended up together in this band," recalled Tim, who also attributes the rivalry to boosting their levels of musicianship. "The Cincinnati club scene was really active and at any given time, 14 bands would by vying for the same spot. But that competition really helped us individually because it raised the standards. You really had to be that much better so it made everyone practice that much harder."
Not that the members of Yankee Grey were ever really slackers in the first place. Tim says his mother recalls how he "came out screaming and hasn't stopped singing since," and violinist Joe Caverlee knew from age five that "music would be my destiny." A love that developed early for Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis fueled keyboardist Jerry Hughes' fire to play. And Matt, Dave and Kevin, who all spent years in other bands before forming Yankee Grey, were equally set on music careers. "Everyone has wanted this pretty much all their lives," adds Hughes.
But make no mistake about it, despite their competitive past, the members of Yankee Grey are now in it together. "No one in this band tries to stand out --we are a unit -- and the biggest compliment we ever get is when someone tells us we are a great band, instead of singling one of us out," adds drummer Kevin Griffin.
Guitarist Matt Basford agrees, "We are a real band and we all have an absolute blast playing together. We love it so much, we could stay on the road forever."