Les Gruff & the Billy Goat Create a Vivid Honky-Tonk Ballad with "Evil Dancers" (premiere)
Les Gruff & the Billy Goat bring a distinctly rural, soulful sound that feels as timely as it does emotionally vindicating in the way they so powerfully deliver songs such as "Evil Dancers".
Steeped in equal parts hefty blues and wistful bluegrass, Les Gruff & the Billy Goat's brand of Americana comes as a vivid reflection of the rural heartlands from which they came. At the band's center is the "goat" himself, Billy Croghan, who jump-started the band once meeting Tony Compton whilst traversing St. Louis' songwriting circles. Together with bassist David Roach, fiddler Sean Kamery, electric guitarist Nigel Solomon, and drummer Ed Daugs, the current iteration of Les Gruff & the Billy Goat produces whiskey-drenched twang that is instantly evocative of Missouri's windswept history, geography, and culture. They're releasing a self-titled third LP on 8 December which Compton describes as an album that captures "the feeling of friends sharing fun times, telling stories, happy, sad, or funny."
Before the band releases their all-encompassing new album, they are sharing a new single with PopMatters, "Evil Dancers". A searing honky-tonk affair, Les Gruff & the Billy Goat get to exhibit the full breadth of their expressive fullness as a sextet across this ballad. Dressed with palpable emotion, Croghan commands the song's center with his wisened, blues-laden vocals as the band's instrumentalists usher a whirlwind of melodic benediction around him. In part carrying on the torch of jam bands past ala Uncle Lucius, Les Gruff & the Billy Goat bring a distinctly rural, soulful sound to the occasion that feels as timely as it does emotionally vindicating in the way they so powerfully deliver songs such as this one.