Though they hail from the unlikely country-music mecca of Cincinnati, the six-man band known as Yankee Grey offers ample evidence of its honky-tonk credentials on its debut effort Untamed, which finds the sextet balancing good-naturedly rowdy tunes and heart-on-sleeve ballads.
Eight of the album’s 10 songs, including the infectious single “All Things Considered,” are original compositions, generally written by frontman Tim Hunt. The band members played virtually all of the instruments on Untamed, cutting the tracks with minimal overdubbing in order to maintain the immediacy of its live sound.
Unlike many contemporary country acts, Yankee Grey - who cite influences as diverse as Bill Monroe, The Beatles and Kansas-were already well-established as a performing unit long before winning a record deal. Indeed, the band has existed for 13 years, working as many as 300 nights a year in and around its hometown, playing cover tunes and original material for long as five or six hours a night. The sextet received its first major national exposure last summer, touring as opening act for Hank Williams, Jr.
Hunt says that Untamed’s title reflects the essence of Yankee Grey’s live performances: “We’re extremely energetic, not just for the sake of the show, but because we’re just having so much fun out there night after night.”
“We are a real band and we all have an absolute blast playing toghether,” adds guitarist Matt Basford. “We love it so much, we could stay on the road forever.”