You may not have heard of the folk/rock band ‘Grey Season’, but chances are you will in the future. Local musicians Ian Jones (ORR 2011) of Rochester and Ben Burns (ORR 2011) of Mattapoisett, along with their band mates, have been invited to record their first full-length album.
During a recent gig in Boston, where Jones and Burns are currently students at Berklee College of Music, they were noticed by Ben Grotto, a music producer affiliated with Levon Helms Studios in Woodstock, NY. Grotto suggested that the group meet with engineering recording great, Justin Guip, whose work has earned him a Grammy Award and who is also part of Helms Studios.
For the uninitiated, Levon Helms was a musician whose talents found him playing in the 1950’s and 60’s with such greats as Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan, just to name a few. In his later life, he settled into working with younger talented musicians by mentoring, instructing, and helping them mature in their craft. Also probably obscure to the average music listener are Bobby Grotto and Justin Guip. Grotto’s curriculum vitae lists Aerosmith, The Dresden Dolls, and 2010 Producer of the Year at the Boston Music Awards, while Guip’s contains being a three-time Grammy winning engineer.
Grey Season’s musical style, as stated on their Facebook page, is a blend of ‘Mother Folk and Father Rock’. When I spoke to Ian by phone recently, he was just beginning his busy day of classes, but his excitement over this opportunity came through loud and clear: “This is going to be huge for us!” He said the band was originally a trio that he and Burns spotted in Boston. Soon they joined the group, adding depth with bass and drums as well as other vocal talents all blending with Irish instruments and guitars, and producing a truly unique sound worthy of notice. Playing their original scores at venues around Boston, as well as the traditional street performances, the group has come together with soulful new combinations. It was this sound that perked the ears of Grotto. But even when opportunity knocks, there is a cost to pay.
The group has to raise some front money in order to accept the invitation-only recording date. An entry fee of $10,000 is needed by December 22. They are just north of half way there as they get the word out to their fans and supporters. The fee covers necessities such as studio costs, professional mixing, mastering, and duplication, which are all elements needed to bring a great sounding group to the masses. Their “Kickstarter” fundraising is in full swing. To learn more, visit www.greyseasonmusic.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call Jones at 949-689-6676.
By Marilou Newell