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  • Bryon Harris

Grifters & Shills - 'Running Out'

The song “Running Out” by Grifters & Shills starts with a holy rolling, hell-fire preacher calling out to his flock from the grand stage of his altar. The sound heard in the backdrop has distorted static, like a broken-down television set, before the noise clears and Grifters & Shills enter singing, “A mindless talking head stands on the altar, the congregation basking in the glow. Ain't no need to think or question what's the truth and what's the lesson, he's here to tell you all you need to know.” Their voices, ever-so-familiar with each other’s musical nuances, sing in perfectly blended parallel octaves, with a determined sense of direction.

The musical landscape commences with syncopated, palm-muted guitar. Soon, exciting fills and riffs join in with a distinctive, distorted blue-grass vibe (distorted guitar and blue-grass may seem like a strange combo, but this is exactly what Grifter & Shills can do). Mid-way, a lead guitar solo picks up the main melody with engaging and tasteful melodic sensibilities. With an upbeat tempo and a thick swampy groove, “Running Out” is a foot-stomping-in-the-mud jam that instantly gets under your skin and wakes you up - to a good dose of reality and great music.

The two singers, John and Rebecca Stoll, sing with spit-fire articulation. Their voices blend effortlessly as they unfold the story. “Most folks today think no one's the wiser. We load our guns and do it all over again.” The song is more than a social commentary on mass shootings. At its core “Running Out” is about the idea that deep-rooted beliefs and convictions are at the heart of our inability to reason and change. The lyrics to “Running Out” are observant and intelligent. The song ends back with the preacher, signifying how hard it is to break the cycle. “We'll toss and turn and crash and burn and never ever learn.” .

In “Running Out,” Grifters & Shills prove they won't be running out of engaging music anytime soon - if anything, they break the mold with music that your mind and ears need to hear.

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As the story goes, John and Rebeca Stoll met at a classic-rock, blues jam in Texas. The year was 2008. He was Rock and Heavy Metal and she was a bit more Roots and Americana. Their on-stage and off-stage relationship grew with an undeniable chemistry. Combining John’s guitar chops and Rebecca’s folk-fused vocals, the duo began writing their own songs, blending harmonies, and growing their diverse instrumental palate. Together, they play 12 instruments. Their collection includes John’s arch-top guitar, Rebecca's bass, a driving stomp board, cigar box guitars, harmonicas, and an occasional kazoo. Today, they offer up contemporary indie-folk music with musical substance that stems from the combining of their roots and the message in their hearts

Check out "When The Deed Is Done" by Grifters & Shills

For more information, please visit Grifters & Shills Website.

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