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Introducing: The Grey Agents

posted January 16, 2015, 7:47 pm by JasonHillenburg | Filed Under Music News | comment Leave a Comment

18105classifiedmisnformationClick here for Jason Hillenburg’s five star review of “Classified Misinformation”

Sometimes life just happens. The history books of popular music are filled with ribald tales of twenty-something’s who formed bands, left smoking craters of motels in their wake, and rocketed to some sort of, usually fleeting, success. There are other stories.

Popular music history seldom mentions the artists who, for one reason or another, answer the call of real life and leave dreams of a musical career behind. For every young, strutting rock star, you’ll find hundreds of men and women with greater or equal talent who stepped away. Then, there are stories about some who have re-entered the fray with spectacular results and The Grey Agents are one.

Previously members of The New Relics, Second Street, Drain Babies, Al Buterol and the Inhalers, as well as local church worship bands, while they entertained and inspired crowds, those formations have faded from the scene. But the passion and playfulness defining those bands, while never one-dimensional, seems to have transitioned smoothly. The band members, knowledgeable and lifelong music fans bonded by a common love for 70’s rock, can wax rhapsodic with each other about the artists they love, the concerts they’ve seen, but more than music binds them.

The Grey Agents are a band in the truest sense of the word – the sum is a synthesis of its individual parts. They clearly recognize the fact and there are no virtuoso trips here; instead, the band often sound like each other’s biggest fans. Keyboardist Davin Seamon says, “Bob Workman is a fantastic drummer who brings great energy to the songs. John Farmer is an incredible, deep pocket bass player and excellent singer. John Forester is an encyclopedia of classic rock and finds a catchy, signature lick for every song to take it to the next level.” He refers to Cottrill, the band’s primary vocalist and songwriter, as the band’s “fearless leader”, but Cottrill is equally effusive.”Davin Seamon has monster chops in rock and jazz, but always has an eye turned towards improving the arrangements and always plays to the song”.

There is wisdom and generosity of spirit in this music. Like all great bands, The Grey Agents cast their nets wide and explore a wide spectrum of emotions and experiences. This facility begins with the interplay between the musicians. Creative egos are fragile things and stories are legion about bands breaking down because individual members can’t co-exist. The Grey Agents, however, are a collaborative unit with the deceptively unique ability to listen to each other. Their ability to hear each other out during the creative process is, undoubtedly, one of the band’s songwriting strengths, but it extends further than that. When you hear this music, it will be clear that these are musicians listening closely to each other and that same open dialogue occurring behind the scenes enriches their art.

If you have any doubts about their intentions, allow guitarist Brian Cottrill to dispel them all.

“There are a lot of people stressed in this world and music can help us to forget some of that and live in moments of joy… [but] the circus and magicians are entertainers… I don’t consider them art. At the end of the day, all rock artists are entertainers. I hope we are both, but I’d rather be an artist than an entertainer.” 1397112_869785403043549_6093325262177095870_o

And so they do. Gentleness, love, black humor and a keen eye for life’s experience fill Classified Misinformation. While some have compared them to Tom Petty, REM or Elvis Costello, they are a supremely entertaining musical outfit capable of stirring hearts and spurring moments of genuine reflection. In an age when sincerity is an increasingly premium commodity, we should be grateful for the distractions of great entertainment, but we should feel more gratified that bands like The Grey Agents are still out there. Like all of us, this band is on a journey and they are inviting us along for the ride.


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