After an extended hiatus and maturation in sound, Gideon Grove is back with his first new material since 2012’s Wildfires. Grove has focused his new sound on stripped down country and folk, looking for more authenticity this time around. Lead single “Darkness” isn’t much more than a slowly strummed acoustic and Grove’s powerfully pleading vocals. We’ll get a full taste of Grove’s new sound on his LP coming this fall.
WINDUP: Let’s start at the beginning Gideon, how’d you first get in to music?
GIDEON GROVE: I grew up in a musical family and my older siblings all played instruments so it naturally made me want to do the same.
I know you were classically trained on the viola, do the lessons you learned from playing that instrument ever work their way in to the way you approach the guitar or influence the way you write?
I think indirectly they did. Being taught classically presented me to learn valuable lessons in communicating and phrasing music. Much of what I was taught classically was centered in learning how to phrase and express compositions in your own way. I think some of these lessons have helped when writing songs. Classical music is filled with so much drama and emotion I suspect it has affected my method in songwriting.
You had a few years off between releasing new material, what was going on in your life at that time?
I played shows and traveled a bunch. I continued to write a lot of material and got really into cooking and learning and drinking wine.
How do you think your music has evolved since Wildfires?
I think it has matured as I have. I went into recording Wildfires listening to a lot of brit-rock, pop bands and the material birthed from that was definitely reflected. I started listening to a lot of older music and diving into a lot of old country, blues, and folk artists. People like Son House, Joni Mitchell, EmmyLou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Doc Watson, Lead Belly.
How’s the new material shaping up?
Great. We are working to release the record in the Fall. When my producer Matt Williams and I sat down to start making this record, we concentrated on the songs we felt had the most depth and character. I am proud of each one and I can’t wait for people to hear.
What’s the biggest difference between your older stuff and the new album?
For this project, I surrounded myself with some of the best musicians in the business. I took my songs into the studio and linked up with Jay Bellerose, Eric Heywood, and Jen Condos who all played around me. They brought such a wealth of musical talent to this project and it shines through with each of these tunes. The songs still have a pull towards ambience but I think we have captured a greater depth and rawness.
What’s Nashville like these days? What’s it like being around such a vibrant music community?
Nashville is awesome. I spend a good amount of time in NYC so coming back to Nashville is always a nice change of pace. It still has a small-town feel to it and everyone is so friendly and welcoming. It’s exciting to be a part of such a strong community of like-minded artists and there is a wealth of resources and support here that is hard to find in other cities. It’s also becoming a great food town.
Lyrically what inspired the stories you tell on the new record?
I think there is an element of sadness and brokenness woven through most of the material. I tend to write a lot of fictional songs and this record is very much a concept album.
What’s the most random concert you have been to?
A Johnny Cash tribute band show at the Perry County Fair in PA. Just amazing characters on stage and an audience full of farmers.
Favorite place to drink in Nashville?
Holland House or Old Glory both have good vibes.
Goals for 2016?
Get this record out and play more shows.