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July 3, 2012 / jhsaeger

Kalob Griffin Band’s June Found A Gun

   The image of a rustic rifle-toting woodsman that decorates the cover of the Kalob Griffin Band’s album June Found A Gun leaves little doubt of the band’s Americana influences. What unfolds throughout the band’s full-length debut, however, is their deftness as musicians as they back Kalob Griffin’s infectious lyrics with a rich sound that does not allude to their Philadelphia-area base.
   The band, whose lineup consists of Griffin as a guitar player and lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist Rob Dwyer (banjo, guitar, mandolin), drummer Eric Lawry, keyboard player John Hildenbrand, and electric/upright bass player Nick Salcido, first assembled as they attended college at Penn State in 2009. Despite having only one previous piece circulating, a six-track EP that was released in 2011, the Kalob Griffin Band have already managed to garner the attention of WXPN and the World Café. It does not take a long listen of June Found A Gun to see how the band caught WXPN’s eye. The twelve-track album balances fun, tasteful musicianship and astute songwriting in a wonderful blend of Americana and indie rock.
   The fun portion of the album emerges through tracks like “South,” “Whiskey My Love,” and “Hooneymooners,” which brings out all of the band’s best qualities as Griffin chastises a companion who is “biologically a sound individually, mentally you’re just crazy as a loon.” Musically, it’s hard to miss the lively keys of John Hildenbrand and the exceptional guitar parts that emerge from Dwyer that help to fill out the track. Dwyer’s skill with a guitar returns later in the album in “Johnny Double Down,” where a mid-song solo shakes up the record. Hildenbrand returns as a centerpiece throughout certain tracks on the album, particularly on the songs “Oh Good Woman” and “Winter Blues,” where he locks in with Lawry.
   As June Found A Gun begins to wrap up, the band places what may be their best song as the penultimate track, the phenomenal “IPA.” The track, which name drops shows in New York City, Colorado women, and hails Western Pennsylvania, maximizes the group’s sound with a perfect blend of guitar, bass, keys, drumming, and vocals.
   June Found A Gun, the best and most enjoyable album from a Philadelphia-area that has hit so far this year, is available as a digital download and CD. The Kalob Griffin Band is currently embarking on a tour that will take them to Philadelphia’s World Café Summer In The City event, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. 

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