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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Folsom "Pwison" Blues (via

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

GPH Debuts Wednesday

The triangle's newest rock-progressive-jazz fusion band GPH makes its debut this Wednesday, July 15th, at Local 506 along with Jaafar and Butter.

Formed by bassist Brian Preston, guitarist Dave George, and drummer Darren Herrett, GPH brings an adventurous improvisational spirit to the NC scene.

I asked Brian to fill us in about the new band..

Tell us how GPH came together.

Thanks Dave... Well GPH came through my meeting of Dave George who friended me on my Metaphoric Music MySpace site and we struck up a dialogue. I invited him over to my place to jam with a drummer and sax player (Todd Barbee of KUJO, Onomata and Smokin' Granny) who I had been trying to get a new project started with after my last group, Kinetic Union Jazz Orchestra, seemed to peter out. We jammed a few times and I could tell he was a very good player with an ear for improv. Dave said, "Hey, how would you like to try to start a trio doing improv jazz-rock ala Jeff Sipe, Wayne Krantz, Jonas Hellborg, etc." I was enticed by the idea... so we set off to find the right drummer. Someone who could hold their own in the chops department, not a lay back drummer, but a drummer who could lay down the groove, step out and fly when needed. We both knew several drummers but wanted some fresh meat, so we did the Craigslist thing. Our ad was perhaps intimidating enough so that we only got replies from folks who really knew the kind of thing we are doing and we had only a few was Darren who was (is) already playing in 2 bands, Lactose Quervo, and a metal band. Darren impressed me right away with his snappy chops, and as a bass player, that is what I am looking for in a rhythm partner. We just started jamming once a week and I recorded the sessions each week and each time it got more interesting and we realized we had something, the chemistry was there. That is essential in any group, but with improvisation, it is everything! Both of these guys are very experienced players with many different bands, live shows, and recordings under their belts, so they are able to step right up and are very professional.

I see you will be performing on September 4th as part of the pre-ProgDay music festival. ProgDay draws musicians and music fans from all over the world. Can you tell us about this year's lineup and your involvement in ProgDay?

I used to set up the ProgDay Pre shows with my band (that this interviewer was in!) Smokin' Granny (1997-2003). So now I saw an opportunity with GPH for this audience. I was able to get Jaafar to play with us. They are very cool, lead by Troy Cole on bass, they do a kind of world fusion that veers into prog rock and improvisation. I think folks will really like them.

How would you describe the GPH sound to the uninitiated?

Probably difficult to the completely uninitiated...We are a guitar/bass/drums instrumental (for now) format, and we play loud, but its not straight rock at all. You could say 'loud jazz' but we would not be considered 'jazz' in any kind of traditional sense. Definitely from the world of jazz-rock fusion ala Brand X, electric Miles, Return to Forever, John Scofield, and even jam band and prog sounds like Umphrey's McGee and King Crimson. Other influences would be Hendrix, Trower, and Government Mule.

You said you were planning to play a few interesting covers, including some Zappa, Jeff Beck, and maybe a Bruford piece. What can we look forward to?

For this Wednesday's show (July 15) we will probably do only one Zappa cover, "Black Napkins". We have several in the pipeline for September 4th though including Jeff Beck, Robin Trower, Bruford, Scofield. But, we really enjoy the originals and now have a good set of developed originals for improvisation. You can hear those in rehearsal recordings on our MySpace site.

It's a bit early to ask, this being a new band, but are you planning some recording or more performances?

Yes to both! The current recordings are live 2 track in my rehearsal room so they are not releasable other than as a quick listen on MySpace. We have plans to actually do a studio session soon, and try to have a CD ready for Sept 4th. So there will be recording activity between these two shows. And we may play more shows around the Triangle over the next few months. Also likely to be at Carrboro Music Fest end of September.

Thanks for the info Brian! Check out GPH on their MySpace: