In later years, it gets increasingly difficult to hear about success stories, especially in the music business, where talent and creativity are not supported enough, in our website's opinion, unless an artist or a band has got behind a record label willing to invest properly on the skills and the musicianship of said artist or band.
Somebody that has worked really hard, in a completely self-sufficient environment (and massive credit to them for this remarkable achievement), to reach the challenging goal of being successful without any major music label paving the streets of success for them, are Louisiana born-and-bred singer and songwriter Greta Valenti and British guitarist and the youngest ever British Blues Hall inductee in history Robin Davey.
The two artists, a couple also in real life, together with setting up a highly rated creative agency called Grow Vision (involved heavily for a couple of years also in the production and directing of Live From Daryl's House, the TV show hosted by Daryl Hall), they were naturally also investing in creating their own musical projects, one of which being Beaux Gris Gris & the Apocalypse, a collective that is split across the United States and the UK, with some of the band members belonging to both countries.
Although releasing independently (and with a solid and impressive amount of record selling) their first two studio albums, called respectively Love & Murder and Good Times, End Times between 2019 and 2022, the buzz around the band was growing exponentially across Uk and United States, thanks also to the reputation built On The Road by Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse through the years as being one the most high energetic live bands around.
Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse's sound cannot be easily enclosed in one defined genre. The collective, which together with Valenti on vocal and songwriting duties and Davey on guitar, it also alternates on drums, bass guitar and keyboards several of the most skilled and highly talented musicians in UK and US, depending where the collective is performing live or recording, is a highly fascinating sonic hybrid of Soul, 70's Psychedelic Rock, Rhythm And Blues and Americana, performed and delivered with great intensity and exuding, especially through their live performances, a hugely contagious joie-de-vivre, all components that emerge overwhelmingly high, when listening to Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse first ever live double album now released and aptly called Live In The United Kingdom 2023.
Admittingly, the first live album of Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse was bound to happen, inevitably, because the Anglo-American band is, right now, one of the most intriguing and greatly sounding music machines you can ever hope to see or hear on a stage worldwide.
Live In The United Kingdom 2023 has been recorded earlier this year, at the time that the band was touring the UK with their first batch of shows, during which the recording and performing band, made by Greta Valenti on Vocals, Robin Davey on Guitars, Emma Jonson on Piano and Keytar, Tom Rasulo on Drums and Stephen Mildwater on Bass Guitar, was performing in different venues across the country that could vary from theaters to clubs.
Whilst the outcome of the concerts in both type of venues was still obtaining the same, vast amount of consensus with the crowds, the aim of the band, in releasing a double album live, was partially perhaps aiming at highlighting how much could the remarkably strong and powerful wall of sound and level of performance be the same but sounding slightly different, an aspect that was due solely to the scale of the venue where Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse were performing and not to be attributed to any other factor.
The first disc of the double live set was recorded at the Arlington Arts Theatre in Newbury, UK, with the band kicking in with a rather punchy 70's, almost Hendrix-esque Rock sounding number, called Heart Breaker, where all the quality, the talent and the perfect interplay among all the band members immediately shines and remains a constant factor throughout the whole set.
What will follow, in the next hour-plus of the first live set, is a highly enthralling, energetic and entertaining combustion of R&B, Soul, Rock'N'Roll, Folk, Americana and Pop, with added layers of Calypso, Disco, Classica and Progressive Rock, emerging here and there within the songs part of the live set.
While somebody may think that such an abundance of genres and sounds may be a bit too much, you will be surprised on how much every note sang and played by the Anglo-American collective makes perfect sense, throughout the whole not only of the first set but also in the second one. Valenti on vocals is a volcano of energy, passion, tenderness and a huge tower of strength, as a singer and as a performer, that includes also Greta Valenti's breathtaking vocals on the band's only brand new song present on Live In The United Kingdom 2023, called Penny Paid Rockstar.
Every single band member is a vital element, in the grand performing scheme of Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse. Robin Davey is an authentic Guitar Maestro, somebody able to switch his playing style from Rock'N'Roll to Folk in a blink of an eye with such effortless agility and strong performing consistancy, displaying an incredible amount of talent at every point of the show. The band's Rhythm Section works with such an impressive metronomic precision, even more impressive considering the fact that Stephen Mildwater on Bass and Tom Rasulo on Drums don't get to play often on a regular basis, considering that they live on opposite sides of the Pond. Emma Jonson on Piano and Keytar is such an impressive, hugely talented musician; her piano improvisations combined with the vast knowledge and appreciation of many different musical genres Jonson possesses, it helps considerably the band to switch from genre to genre on stage and still maintaining their own and easily identifiable "Marque De Fabric" as a band.
The second live set/disc was recorded mostly in a club called The Muse in Brecon, Wales, with few exceptions recorded in other clubs across the country. Although the setlist is, for the best part of it, the same of the first disc, there are some unexpected and exquisitely delivered covers from artists that you wouldn't immediately expect the band to be playing, such as Make It Wit Chu, one of Queens Of The Stone Age's most popular tracks, Bruce Springsteen's I'm On Fire and Fistful Of Dirt, a tune from Robin Davey's previous band The Hoax, a Rock number where all the swagger and the more wild side of Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse explodes in all its raw beauty.
If you have never been to a show of Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse, perhaps listening to Live In the United Kingdom 2023 will hopefully hugely wet your musical appetite. A truly triumphant live recording that translates in full the power, the strength and the talent of one of the best kept secrets of contemporary music.
Live In The United Kingdom 2023 is out now and it is available to be purchased at Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse Bandcamp Official Page