The Graysmiths is a Rock experiment, created by Joshua Gray in 2009 and constructed primarily around the moan and wail of Gray’s back beat driven slide guitar playing. The genesis of the group came as a necessity to Gray after working for 10 years as a sideman for other touring acts while also working as an engineer out of his small home studio in Mississippi. As a songwriter and collaborator, Gray realized the importance of branching out and trusting his own instincts fully: “I really wanted to get back to my roots and build something I could call my own.”
Working in the cracks of a varied and busy schedule, Gray completed the first Graysmiths solo album, These Bones, assisted by friends and family. A take on reconstructing Blues forms, These Bones is now available only at live events. After a single show, an unexpected opportunity took Gray to Europe for a year in 2011-12. The year in Europe was a great experience for Gray, who performed the album in several countries as a solo performer. “It was fantastic for me because I couldn’t lean on a band. I have to deliver these giant blues/rock sounds with just an acoustic guitar and my voice. This is when it all came together for me as a front man.”
After his return from Europe, Gray began work on his next album and started planning his next move. He had no trouble finding musicians that wanted to record with him but finding people to commit to a touring band proved far too difficult in his small hometown. Joshua realized that he needed to be a larger area with people and opportunities that better suited his interests. “People had been telling me for some time that I needed to move to Nashville but I never thought that I would fit in there because my interests were not based in country music. I knew I needed to go somewhere and some close friends told me I should really check Nashville out. I was very surprised to find out how much was going on outside of country music.”
In 2013 Joshua moved to Nashville and within weeks of arrival was touring with a newly formed Graysmiths lineup that included Bones Hillman, former bassist for Midnight Oil. Gray and Hillman became fast friends as a result of their work together. Hillman recognized something special in Gray and took him under his wing, working with Gray to manage and develop The Graysmiths and set the band on a trajectory to make an impact in the Rock world.
Hillman called on former Oils producer Warne Livesey for The Graysmiths’ first professional studio album and drew on his years of working relationships in Nashville to fill out the rest of the band for the sessions and live work. Steve Latanation of Agent Orange joined Gray and Hillman in the studio to provide drumming, while Josh Cross of Justin Moore’s band lent his hand at lead guitar. The first single, “Give It a Name,” is slated for release April 2014.
2014 promises to be an exciting year for The Graysmiths, as they hone their craft with touring and further releases.