When you walk into The Deli in Norman, Oklahoma on a Monday night you are hit with a sound so unique, yet so familiar to your music loving heart, that your body immediately responds. The rich sounds of soul, blues, country, folk, and a little bit of rock are all accounted for in a cohesive mixture that digests smoothly, like a dose of high quality opiates hitting the bloodstream.
Described as a young band with old souls, The Damn Quails are a combined effort between singer/songwriters Gabriel Marshall and Bryon White, proud saplings of Oklahoma’s opulent music vegetation. Understanding the caliber of songwriters that are indigenous to this particular part of the country is the only thing that makes a debut release this good seem plausible.
Having been exposed to local storytellers like Tom Skinner, Mike McClure and Gene Collier, both Bryon and Gabriel sank their roots into songwriting early on and remained close to that art while earning their music chops on stage indulging in music styles that ran the spectrum. It’s a very lucky thing for anyone who considers himself a music aficionado that Bryon and Gabriel would emerge from the same stompin’ grounds and eventually come stool–to-stool in a highly respected ritual among writers known as the Song Swap.
It was in this survival of the fittest setting where two songwriters, both equally fierce in measure, would set into motion a pairing that resonates a lifetime of compatibility despite its level of humble beginnings. Backed by the ‘Quail Philharmonic,” the live show spills off the stage with a pooled sound that makes veteran performers stand up and take notice, and on any given night the philharmonic fills to include some of their peers from other bands. After all, the jam is what it is really all about and Bryon admits that they have never performed a song the same way twice.
The Damn Quails debut studio release appropriately titled DOWN THE HATCH will shell out in August 2011 on 598 Recordings. The threading together of their individual songs meant they had to find just the right producer who could bring two solid talents together as a team, and they found it in the veteran combo of Mike McClure and Joe Hardy.
McClure’s reputation as a songwriter and musician is of legendary standing, having had admirable success both as a front man for The Great Divide and as a solo artist. His innate talents and knowledge of music has made him a highly sought after producer in the Indie circuit with producing/recording credits that include Cross Canadian Ragweed, Turnpike Troubadours, Stoney LaRue, Johnny Cooper, Jerry Jeff Walker, Gary P Nunn and Lloyd Maines.
Hardy currently runs Billy Gibbons’ Foam Box Studio and has recorded everyone from ZZ Top to The Replacements to Steve Earle.
The enormity of talent combined in this debut release is staggering. From the first sweet sounds of harmonica and fiddle on “Better Place To Stop” to the airy essence of “Mary” to the lonesome call of “California,” The Damn Quails deliver one of the most solid performances of any freshmen album you will ever hear.
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