Graber Gryass - Sweet Roger

This week Graber Gryass officially release their debut album 'Late Bloom'. Comprising of twelve high quality folk based roots and bluegrass songs, the musicianship is constantly impressive with some stunning arrangements, whilst the vocals are a natural fit for this style of music. The collective are both creative and bring different styles to fruition with apparent ease. For anyone uncertain about these genres, Graber Gryass's new album is a great place to start finding out more. ===== Sweet Roger brand new release 'Pay Me' is a natural and at times raw acoustic song, the vocals are striking and add something of a blues vibe to this subtly addictive track.


Graber Gryass - Late Bloom (Album).

Memphis bluegrass collective Graber Gryass have officially released their debut LP Late Bloom after receiving praise from Relix, Wide Open Country, AmericanaUK, and Glide Magazine in the buildup to release, with the latter praising the record as "serving a clever place in the folk-based roots catalog."

Michael Graber was a very anxious child, and he could only ever find peace between the folds of an expansive musical universe. As frontman of acoustic collective Graber Gryass, he fashions a vast and eclectic background into an immersive journey into an original expansive, exploratory song catalogue. The first record of two, Late Bloom, reads with straight-arrow storytelling, but carries a remarkable importance about the human experience.

“This album really is symbolic of my whole existence. I like to think it’s a message for other people, too,” he says. “You look at a lot of the great novelists. They don’t publish their first novel until their 40s or 50s. This is the first record of all originals under my name. I just turned 50. It’s a real celebration of flourishing.”

Even more, Late Bloom exudes some of the most exemplary songwriting and musicianship you’ll hear all year. That is in large part to the smorgasbord of players and their collective expertise. You’ll find musicians who have played in Public Enemy, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Devil Train, and Dagnabbits, among others. Graber himself has contributed to recordings for Bluff City Backsliders, the Grifters, Foy Vance (“To Memphis”), and currently plays in the Bluff City Backsliders, Zeke’s Three Generation Jug Rascals, and Damfool, and boasts previous work with Professor Elixir’s Southern Troubadours, Fatback Jubilee, and 611.

Such pedigrees flourish into a vibrant display across 12 songs. A syrupy barroom tune, “Devil’s Got Your Name” is a slice of “country surrealism as a day-drinking melodrama, filled with despair,” as Graber puts it. Then, you have entries like “Fool Living Wrong” and “More to Lose” dissecting the brokenness of marriage with crushing precision. “You hold my dreams at night / Won’t leave me alone / Possessed, confused, I don’t know what to do,” he laments, as Gia Welch’s stunning harmonies wash around him.

“When the Water’s This Low” stands among Graber’s darkest, most eerie stories. Initially written as a poem, he recalls a startling experience he had as a young boy that has “haunted me ever since,” he says. “There are lots of snakes when the water’s this low / Each one has poison / It can drag you below / as they slither underwater, you feel it in your soul,” he hisses across a swampy soundscape. “The song is true, except the death at the end. And I had a fever, so it was surreal,” he remembers. Late Bloom completely lives up to its moniker.


Sweet Roger - Pay Me.

“Pay Me,” the new single by the artist Sweet Roger, is a surly blues and folk song reminiscent of early 20th century outliers who sang in rough and coarse overtones speaking of hardships, travels, and cursed relationships. Entirely acoustic, this raw recording inspired by century old Travis pickin’ guitar licks feels refreshingly new in this modern, digitized landscape. Sweet Roger finds relevance for folksy themes and imagery in an advanced age where we continue to struggle and search for solace.

The single “Pay Me” is the first instalment to Sweet Roger’s upcoming follow up record to his debut album, You’ll Always Have Yourself. At the beginning of the lockdown this year, Sweet Roger decided to use the downtime to experiment with an entirely independent endeavour and swapped out the comforts and sophistications of a professional studio for a completely solitary, homespun recording. No producer. No band. Just the artist. The result: “Pay Me” captures the unsettling mood of the times with a defiant performance of raw vocals and growly acoustics driven by a solid rhythm that exultantly powers us forward.

It’s been years now that Sweet Roger gave up a teaching position at a local college and took up a job shucking oysters in Old Montreal and playing gigs wherever they could be found around town. The work, the struggle, and the dark hours gave ample inspiration for songs that truly tell stories of love and loss. Picking up some momentum after releasing his debut and building an audience, Sweet Roger now returns with new material that has even more provocation and edge, an audible swagger that is both scrappy and sympathetic.