With their all-acoustic instrumentation, vintage suits, and 30's-era single microphone, Captain Gravel could easily be mistaken for 'just another bluegrass band' - that is, until they start to play. True, the Seattle-based band has no qualms about tearing into a fast-paced bluegrass tune or an old-time gospel number. But the five bandmates share musical tastes too eclectic to stop there: Audiences at Captain Gravel shows often find themselves dancing to Binkle Roberts' banjo-driven Dixieland jazz numbers, or the original songs and instrumentals of mandolin player Miller McNay. Michael Connolly invariably breaks a few bow hairs playing fiery fiddle tunes, Chad Gibson offers up smooth vocals and lightning-fast guitar flatpicking, and Ingrid Eyen holds it all together on the upright bass, simultaneously singing, dancing, and playing her heart out. Put together, the five young musicians deliver original songs, traditional tunes, and five-part vocal harmonies with energy, charisma, and a well-developed sense of humor. In the words of Seattle Post-Intelligencer writer Tizzy Asher, 'Captain Gravel may be one of the most adorable bluegrass bands we've ever seen (and they pick nicely too).' The past year has been a busy one for the band, including dates at the Tractor Tavern, the Sunset Tavern, and the Conor Byrne Pub, as well as regional trips throughout Washington & Oregon. During the summer of 2005, Captain Gravel performed in two sold-out shows in Seattle's 2800-seat Paramount Theater as part of the seventh annual 'Dance This!' show, performed at the Northwest Folklife Festival and Seattle's Fremont Fair, and received the first standing ovation at the 2005 Oregon State Bluegrass Festival. In early 2006, the band made their first appearance at Seattle's Town Hall and also performed for the acclaimed Seattle Folklore Society concert series. It also heralded the release of their first full length studio album, Mountain Lair. 'If you haven't seen Captain Gravel yet, please make it a point to go see them,' said Ken Cartwright, 30 year luthier as well as president of the Oregon Bluegrass Association. 'They played at Winston this year and we were most impressed with them. Great pickers, good vocals and they dress neat too. Great bunch of young folks and are good entertainers. Two thumbs up!!!'
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