The Gravel Project, a band comprised of veteran musicians from the Boston area, is headed down Route 95 Saturday night for a show at Askew in Providence. The ensemble is an all-star band including brothers Andrew and Jordan Gravel, Dave Fox, Eguie Castrillo, and Sarah Seminski.
The Project’s sound blends rock, world music, and jazz in the tradition of 70’s blues and psychedelic rock. Their music has been described as having “the spirit of Santana combined with the classic raw energy and moving songwriting of The Allman Brothers and Tedeschi Trucks Band.”
I recently spoke to Sarah Seminski, vocalist and a veteran of the Boston music scene. She explained how she became the newest member of the band.
“Andrew Gravel created the band as a project; the idea was to create a band where he could play his original music with a collective of players from the Boston music scene,” she explained. “He’s had many people sit in with the band and some of those folks became an integral part of the sound.”
“I sat in on a gig at a benefit, met Andrew and his wife, and he invited me to sit in on his weekly residency. They kept calling me, and asked me to do some gigs and then I joined the writing sessions; I kind of joined the band that way,” added Seminski. “I was really drawn to the performances, the players, the musicianship of the band.”
Their last album Many Miles, was released in 2022 and a new live album, recorded at Wellspring Studios in Acton, MA is due in February. Seminski shared more about the spirit the band brings to live shows.
“This band is a real throwback to the 70s music scene,” she explained. All the interesting R&B work was going on, soul music, gospel music, that southern soul music like The Allman Brothers was a really big part of it, and Stevie Wonder. This band harkens back to that 70s vibe, it was a real mix culturally of so many different genres of music. That’s what the band does really well. It melds together those sounds. It’s rock, but what is rock? It’s soul, it’s R&B, it’s blues, it’s world music to some degree. To me, the sound of this band, it feels like you’re listening to a vintage recording.”
“They are a similar vibe to Tedeschi -Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks are the cornerstones of the band, they’ve created a sound that is uniquely their own. You hear those 60s and 70s influences. The Gravel Project has that same thing, it’s five people who come with a strong understanding and ownership of musicianship,” said Seminski.
“When we get together we are making a sound that is most certainly a mix of all of those genres which is probably why we identify so closely with Tedeschi-Trucks. It’s a collective making the sound, and it’s all about the song. The solos become a statement. Each of the players has something to say. We all say it through the conversation of the song,” she added.
Local greats Jake Hunsinger and The Rock Bottom Band open the show. Click here for more information on the Askew show.