ALANNA GURR & THE GREATEST STATE

FEATURED ARTIST

Alanna Gurrs voice would be perfect around a late night campfire with friends raspy and soulful, it could wonderfully serenade any summer evening. Backed by The Greatest State, the band features Joseph Gallo on bass, Matt Monoogian on pedal steel, and Mike De Paola on drums, with Gurr on guitar and vocals. Together, they create a moody atmosphere that perfectly complements her smoky vocals. The overall feel? Beautiful and meets nostalgic. 

 

Alanna Gurr and the Greatest State Photo 3

 

When Gurr isn’t making music, she’s shaping it. The songstress started her own piano tuning company in 2011 after she graduated from a piano technology program, which quickly grew primarily through word of mouth. In addition to tuning pianos, she does repairs, restorations, and assessments for sales and insurance purposes, and this livelihood is perfectly suited for a musical life on the road. Gurr explains, “I chose piano tuning because I felt like it was a profession that could kind of work around what I love to do — I love piano tuning as well — but it’s something that, if the whole music thing doesn’t work out, then I’m still in that realm. I like working with my hands and I can bring all my tools with me if I go on tour and do some tunings in different cities, so for me it works really well so far.”

The Guelph-based band released their first album, ‘Oh, Horsefeathers’, in 2010, and were immediately well received as honest and even heartbreaking folk that walked the line between country and blues. Their songs seem to break down barriers, with listeners feeling as though they’ve just had secrets whispered in their ear, inspiring them to get close to their lovers and loved ones.

 

 

Their most recent album, ‘Late at Night’, came out in April of this year, and has received rave reviews. Toronto culture site SheDoesTheCity.com described the record as “fluid and saturated with warmth”, and Now Magazine gave it four Ns (one of the highest in their album rating system), saying, “Alanna Gurr’s voice brings you inside.”

The album explores some new rhythms and pop-ier influences, although it is still lulling and sincere. Its atmosphere can be summed up in its title, one that resonated with Gurr who sees the overall mood as a late night listening one.

To fund the album the band began a Kickstarter fundraiser, hoping that they could raise money through presales to cover or aid in its release. The campaign was a success and they were able to raise over $4,000, in addition to funds they gained through grants and touring. Because of this, ‘Late at Night’ is available both as a CD and vinyl, which truly shows off Gurr’s voice, and the folk-laden instrumentals backing it, to their best.

You can listen to Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State’s most recent release streaming on Exclaim, and you can purchase both of their albums on iTunes. To keep up with the band, including where they might be playing next, you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter, or check out their website.

 

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