Recorded live over two nights in July of 2012, Seattle band, Captain Gravel presents their third album release “FoF 2012”. Taken from the groups own “Festival of Friends” in Port Angeles, WA., this is a collection of mostly original tunes from a diverse cross section of styles and genres. Progressing past their origins as a bluegrass unit, and developing into a rock improvisational outfit, this record represents more than 7 years of collaboration and the evolution of material.
From the opening track; an uncharted vamp to accompany the bands introduction to the stage, one can tell the jamming is tight and inspired with great attention to rhythmic detail and group dynamics. The groove segues seamlessly into the 70's style funk of "Uptown Ruler", which further exemplifies the maturation of the bands listening skills.
The pastoral setting for this event was idyllic and contributes significantly to the overall impression of the performance. Situated in front of a picturesque trout pond, the stage area lay in a natural amphitheater surrounded by the majestic woodlands of Olympic National Forest. On-site camping in the mossy evergreen grove offered plenty of room for playful children and adventurous adults.
After fifteen minutes of funkified groove the band rips into the rootsy fan favorite "Beg, Steal or Borrow" which ignites a foot stomping hoedown. Simmering the vibe a bit, they transition into the lush harmony vocals of "Golden Room". As the angular riff of "The Great Dissolve " begins the band settles into what they know will be a sonic exploration, all the while, a spectacular lighting display is being unfolded over head by the bands visual team.
Other highlights include a mostly instrumental arrangement of the Gibb brothers famous tune "Stayin' Alive", the supernova like explosion of "Dark Matter", a ferocious jam in "Biting Dog", the power pop of "Arta" and the retro soul groove of "I Gotta Get".
Captain Gravel is unapologetic about their extended song forms and the obvious comparisons to the titans of this style. "FoF 2012" is merely a snapshot of musicians doing what they want to be doing; playing music on their own terms for the people they want to share it with.