GrayMatter Brings the Family to Musical Chairs
The “Gray” in Graymatter stands for family. “We grew up singing/playing together,” Bev Gray Gude said of her brothers, Barry and Brad. When Bev began dating Dave Gude, as teenagers, “he immediately joined in with the Gray family. We’ve performed in various configurations over the years and it was about four years ago that the four of us finally got together to create the current band.”
Bev took some time out to answer questions about GrayMatter prior to its Musical Chairs performance from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Historic Downtown Depot Amphitheater. The show is part of the Musical Chairs Concert Series. Admission is free, but donations of children’s art supplies for classes at Alamance Arts are appreciated.
- What type of music do you all play? Folk-rock/rock/Americana.
- Originals, covers or both? Our covers are usually “GrayMatterized,” meaning that we’re likely to come up with different arrangements and/or instrumentation and we always layer on harmonies. We’re re-imagining and re-creating the songs of our youth. It’s pretty terrific to look out into the audience and see people singing along with us to their favorites. The audience lifts us up and it’s for them that we keep working to get better at what we do. Our originals are full of those same swirling four-part harmonies and personal storytelling, and because there are four singer-songwriters in our group we have a range of styles, whether it’s tender ballads, folky Americana or driving rock & roll.
- Which bands/musicians inspire you? “Growing up we listened to a lot of early folk singers (Peter, Paul & Mary, Kingston Trio, Dylan) and soaked up their harmonies. Our Dad, Bryan Gray, was also a big influence. He played guitar and piano and after many of our family dinners we’d often gather our instruments, come back to the table and sit around singing and playing together for hours. Then there’s The Beatles, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, James Taylor, Beach Boys; the list goes on & on.
- What sets this band apart from others in and around Alamance County? “I’d say our harmonies, first and foremost. There’s just something about the unique chemistry of tightly-knit family voices. We also play a lot of songs that no one else is playing. Usually after a gig, people will come up to us and say that we’ve played favorites that they haven’t heard in a long time and brought back a lot of memories for them. We find that younger folks really like these songs too and call out for their favorites at our shows. We love introducing those dynamic classics in a fresh, new way to younger audiences who have never heard the songs before. Our audiences are just terrific.”
- Recordings: “We’re researching studios now and hope to get working on a cd of originals before the end of the year. In the meantime, we have both audio and video music online for people to hear. There are links to our music and embedded music at www.facebook.com/graymatternc and at www.graymatternc.com.”
- Upcoming performances: “We’re fortunate to be playing somewhere almost every weekend of the year. People can check out our calendar at either of those websites mentioned above. Here’s a partial list: July 31 at the Rusted Bucket Tavern in Burlington; Aug 6 for a taping for the Tokyo Rosenthal Radio Show (broadcasts on WCHL 97.9 FM and syndicated to a dozen-plus other stations including Country Music Radio-Nashville); Aug7 at The Kraken, Chapel Hill; Aug 29 at the Doodad Farm, Greensboro; Sep 6 at Muddy Creek Café, Winston Salem; Sept 11 at Pittsboro Roadhouse, Pittsboro; Sept 19 Historic Lowville Cream Cheese Festival, Lowville N.Y. and a few other dates in N.Y. and N.J. on this trip; Sept 26 at Beer-B-Que in Burlington; Oct 2 at the Rusted Bucket Tavern in Burlington; and Oct. 4 at Festifall in Chapel Hill. “We had a great time playing the Musical Chairs event last year and are pleased that Alamance Arts, the Burlington Recreation and Parks Department and Downtown Burlington Corporation have invited us back again.”
For more details on the band, visit graymatternc.com or facebook.com/graymatternc.