The Gayle Harrod Band: Epic Blues/Soul Odyssey
There are bands out there that weave a musical story so vivid that you wind up in the middle of it. The Gayle Harrod Band not only understands that but leans into it. The rare, honest, and spell-binding performance that Blues-lovers crave is born of empathy, total commitment, and complete freedom from self-consciousness. Band leader, vocalist, and songwriter Gayle Harrod achieves that ultimately satisfying level of performance on The Gayle Harrod Band’s debut release, Temptation.
The genuine fun Gayle is having on “In the Deep Dark Night” (a jumpin’ New Orleans second line romp) is contagious. On the haunting, Gospel-inspired Texas Blues “Temptation”, the power and soul of her voice are hair-raising. On “The In Between,” her warmth and vulnerability are reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt. Her voice is at times, thrillingly rocket-powered, a signature blend of grit, gravel, and pure defiance. Yet she also has the ability to summon warm, smoky, velvety tones and has the finesse to draw the listener in with a heartbreaking quiet, confessional intimacy.
Part of the instant connection she brings to the listener may be inherent in her songwriting. “I don’t know how I functioned or survived all those years without this means of expression,” she says. “My writing is very personal. I dig deep into my own experiences and feelings.”
Temptation, from The Gayle Harrod Band, is produced by Buddy Speir and recorded at 38 North Studio in Falls Church, VA. It’s a beautiful showcase of Gayle’s range of musical influences: a melting pot of Blues styles from Chicago to New Orleans, Memphis to the Mississippi Delta and Muscle Shoals; as well as influences of Motown, R&B, and Soul. Listening through the tracks, it’s clear that Gayle has gone all in on her musical vision. The Gayle Harrod Band gives you Blues the way it was intended – with gritty honesty, raw emotion, and a story rooted in experience.
Gayle is backed up on this recording by some of the finest musicians in the DMV region. She says, “Finding both talent and chemistry are everything to me when choosing band-mates. I want to play seamlessly together and also laugh together. I have enormous respect and appreciation for these musicians.” Original band members Stan Turk (guitar) and Chuck Ferrell (drums) are featured. Guest performers include guitarists Jonathan Sloane, Sol Roots, and Bobby Thompson; bassist Christopher Brown; and Brian Simms on piano and organ. Producer Buddy Speir contributes guitar, slide, organ, and Wurlitzer. The all-star background vocals are courtesy of Mary Ann Redmond, Dusty Rose, and The Voices of Faith of the First Baptist Church of Baltimore Choir. Also featured is Rachelle Danto on harmonica and The Beltway Horns: Greg Boyer on trombone, Brad Clements on trumpet, and Brent Birckhead on tenor sax. Their “Temptation” CD was recently selected to represent the DC Blues Society in the 2024 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN for “Best Self-Produced CD” and has been selected as a Finalist by The Blues Foundation.
Based in the Baltimore-Washington Metro region, (The DMV), The Gayle Harrod Band has been performing at venues throughout Maryland, DC, Northern VA and beyond since 2017, including festival performances at the 2019 Whiskey Rebellion Festival in Washington, PA; the 2022 and 2023 Main Street Music Festival in Ellicott City, MD; 2023 Greenbelt Blues Festival, Greenbelt, MD, The 2023 Columbia Pike Blues Festival in Arlington, VA, 2023 Solomons Island ArtFest, 2023 Maryland Microbrewery Festival, and 2023 Bluestoberfest in Washington Grove. Club performance have included Roofers Union, 219 Restaurant, JV’s, and Cat’s Eye Pub, to name a few, annually at The DC Downtown Holiday Market, DC Live Concert Series at Woodrow Wilson Plaza, Columbia, Lakefront Stage, and The DC Blues Society Happy Hour along with numerous other outdoor concert series. Recently they have been expanding their performances regionally to include Pennsylvania, Maryland’s Eastern Shore and West Virginia and are looking beyond for 2024.
“Temptation” CD Highlights
#20 IBBA UK Blues Chart February 2023
#33 IBBA UK Blues Chart March 2023
#17 Australian Blues And Roots Airplay Chart ~ International Blues Airplay Chart March 2023
#2 Roots Music Report Contemporary Blues Album, Week Of March 25, 2023
This CD by The Gayle Harrod Band is incredible! I’ve listened to it at least 20 times now and I enjoy it more each time. The first listen blew my mind and each listen since has me finding really great guitar riffs in songs, enjoying standout horn arrangements, appreciating deep and meaningful lyrics, getting goosebumps from dynamic vocals and clapping along to the gospel music. What I appreciate most is the quality of every aspect of this CD. It is so well done from the songwriting to the vocals to the musicians and the masterful production and mixing. There is no weakness, no song that doesn’t stand out. And that rhythm section- wow! To say the bass player and drummer connect is an understatement! It really is some of the best blues drumming I’ve heard in awhile. Definitely up there with the award winners. The fills are so creative and perfectly timed and they follow your vocals so complimentarily. Quite simply, it’s the best blues album I’ve listened to in a long time. I commend you Gayle on this fantastic work and enthusiastically encourage any blues, roots or Americana music lover to get a copy and enjoy it as I do. You will not be disappointed!
~Kim Kitchen Derr, former reviewer for Blues Blast Magazine
I got to listen to the entire Temptation album this afternoon. It is some badass contemporary blues!! You pour your heart out in the music.. I just hope you have some good travelin’ shoes to help get the word out across the continent!! Ben Vee - Bluesmusicfan.com
Have to admire the writing and forthright delivery of spiritually-referenced lyrics without getting preachy here. God Laughed certainly stands by itself as a testimonial track regarding spiritual intercession. The drumless interplay of the plugged-in front porch ensemble on Waiting in the Shadows is a treat to listen to as they wind out this classic but unique 8-bar blues. Very encouraging to hear the way this band and singer approach well-worn styles.Dave Gallaher Talkin' the Blues with Microwave Dave WLRH FM / WJAB FM Huntsville AL WUTC FM Chattanooga TN
This Maryland based lady shakes and swings the blues like nobody’s business on her latest album, Temptation. Harrod delivers these 12 well-penned tracks with emotive passion.Metronome Magazine
‘Temptation’ is a beautiful debut album by Gayle Harrod, with which the music business has gained another great soul blues vocalist.Tom Wouters, Bluestown Music, Netherlands
This record is the perfect giant billboard proclaiming just how indefatigable the blues still is in the 21st century. It rocks, it rolls and if anything should make you put Gayle Harrod in your diary if this outfit graces your neck of the woods. Terrific production, breath-taking playing and arrangements, and a woman who drives the blues with all the control and determination of a Texas trucker. Quality and inspired talent, that’s Gayle Harrod.ROY BAINTON ~ BLUES MATTERS
Gayle Harrod’s voice is a powerful instrument with an astonishing range . At one moment she can caress you gently with a sensual intimacy . A few moments later Gayle can rock your world , defiant , strong , powerful , an incredible songstress with plenty of attitude . Gayles voice is a ” blend of grit, grind, and pure defiance”. Listening to Gayle sing is a wondrous experience. I can easily imagine a live audience being easily entranced by the siren’s songs being performed on that stage. Gayle Harrod Band – well worth the wait – “Temptation ” is powerfully irresistible !!!North Jersey Blues Society
Given the quality of songwriting, strength of the vocals and variety of musical style this is a debut album that demands attention. John Mitchell ~THE GROOVE (CROSSROADS BLUES SOCIETY, IL)
The Gayle Harrod Band embarks on an album that pays tribute to the blueswomen who paved the way long before the Baltimore diva tried to move forward in the same direction, Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, Ma Rainey and Rosetta Tharpe who contributed to the greatness of a genre that the singer takes up on her account in a very beautiful way. Fred Delforge, Zicazic, France
As for this debut album “Temptation”, I have to say that it was worth the wait. Namely, with the help of excellent session musicians in the studio, Gayle Harrod literally glides through all 12 songs with her soul blues voice… Her vocals are compared to Bonnie Raitt, and I personally want to emphasize that Gayle is actually very much her own, that she leads the whole story with her airiness, her inspired performance, while this great backing band builds a musical backdrop, which from tone to tone becomes so strong, big and very sensitive. Through all 12 compositions, Gayle offers us dynamic, impressive vocal performances that are at the same time touching, emotional, but also strong, raw and expressive, with equal impressiveness… There is no doubt that ”Temptation” is a beautiful debut album by Gayle Harrod, with which this music genre got another great soul blues singer. If you haven’t already, look for and get your copy as soon as possible of this truly surprising, very impressive studio album by the supremely brilliant Gayle Harrod.Mladen Loncar – Mike Soundguardian (Croatia)
For her very first album, Gayle Harrod composed the twelve tracks in collaboration with her partners and, face to face, we get a sense of the expressive force of her voice, her extended register and her imposing dynamism. A gravelly voice that moves and shakes… Pleasure guaranteed from start to finish. Robert Sacred, ABS France
A voice and an energy that is reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt. Gayle Harrod regales us from start to finish with this “Temptation”, also very well produced. A great discovery and a pleasure to listen to this very pleasant album. Alain Hiot Blog and Blues Magazine, France
Harrod has such a strong and versatile set of pipes that it makes one wonder why it took her so long to share them with the public. She’s also a gifted songwriter in a variety of styles that reach beyond the blues. Temptation is a most promising debut release from The Gayle Harrod Band and hopefully we will hear more from them soon.Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes magazine
It’s one thing to wait until your 42nd year to begin a musical career. It’s still another to wait a dozen more years to cut your first album. And yet another to have it all sound thoroughly polished and professional — and best of all, have it sound so wondrously full of such passionate music.
The result of that lengthy woodshedding for Harrod is this dynamic album of 12 original songs that flow from rhythmic soul to fiery blues with a stylish ease that defies expectation for a debut effort.
Harrod boasts a powerful voice that commands your attention, whether she’s belting or pleading, and there’s plenty of both on this rousing session. There are many excellent, enjoyable moments here, but the one element that stands out all the way through, no matter what the style or mood — Harrod’s voice. She swings, she rocks, she shouts, she whispers. There’s bluesy grit, smoldering soul and folksy innocence. She wears her musical heart on her sleeve. And all of it is surrounded with the riches of a remarkably versatile musical aggregation. If this is just Gayle Harrod’s first album, I can’t wait to hear the next one.
Jim White, BluesRoadhouse.com
“A Blues belter of the first order”Marty Gunther, Red, Hot & Blues Reviews
A Blues belter with a powerful, expressive and occasionally gravelly delivery, Gayle Harrod took a lifetime before launching a career in music. Now in her mid-50’s the Baltimore native makes her recording debut with a soulful set, and one listen will convince you it’s been worth the wait. Fresh and forceful throughout….a rock-solid debut, don’t resist…Temptation is with a listen!Marty Gunther - Senior writer for Blues Blast Magazine
Gayle Harrod’s Singing From The Heart of Her Whole Being !!! And That’s Where It’s At Y’all !!! Dr. Dixon Bh.D “The Blues Physician”Larry Scott Dixon
The creativity, depth and texture in this first original blues compilation by The Gayle Harrod Band presents songs that make you feel the full range of emotions that great blues music inspires. It is an energetic and professionally written and produced album that is a treat through and through. The writing is personal and relatable. The band pulled out all the stops and added richness from horns, harmonica, guest musicians and a gospel choir.Michele Twilley
Love this band! Jamming music with perfect beats. Gayle’s voice is powerful and soulful. Fortunately, I have discovered a gem band in B’more. Looking forward to attending their future venues. Hope O’flynns again!
- Sweet Memphis Man - Original Gayle Harrod and the Gayle Harrod Band 3:00
- Break (Original) The Gayle Harrod Band 4:05
- Baby we're Through - Original 3:02
- Hoochie Coochie Gal (Etta James Cover) Gayle Harrod Band 3:45
- Hound Dog (Big Mama Thornton Cover) The Gayle Harrod Band 2:15
- Heard It Through The Grape Vine (Gladys Knight Cover) The Gayle Harrod Band 2:55
- I'd Rather Go Blind (Etta James Cover) The Gayle Harrod Band 5:46
- Respect (Aretha Franklin Cover) The Gayle Harrod Band 3:55
- Chain Of Fools (Aretha Franklin cover) The Gayle Harrod Bsand 3:51
- Proud Mary (Tina Turner Cover) The Gayle Harrod Band 3:30
- God Laughed (Original) The Gayle Harrod Band 4:15
- As Long As Im Moving (Ruth Brown Cover) The Gayle Harrod Band 3:23
- Why Don't You Want Me (Roy Buchanan Cover) The Gayle Harrod Band 5:16
- You're Gonna Miss Me (Original) The Gayle Harrod Band 3:44
- Bring Me Along - Original 3:12
|10 May 2024
Philadelphia, PA — The Twisted Tail
|19 Jul 2024
|Harper's Ferry, WV — The Barn of Harpers Ferry
|23 Aug 2024
Philadelphia, PA — The Twisted Tail
|06 Dec 2024
Philadelphia, PA — The Twisted Tail
Currently residing in Baltimore, MD, Gayle Harrod is living proof that it’s never to late. She began her public singing career in 2011 at the age of 45 with the Soul and Blues band Triple Shot. Since then she has performed with Classic Rock and Blues band “Blues Deluxe” and the Blues and R&B band “Shakedown” before bringing together some of the best musical talent in the DMV to form The Gayle Harrod Band.
Gayle’s dynamic, imposing vocal performances have been described as moving, powerful, raw, emotional and expressive. She is equally at ease belting out a well-worn Blues standard or grooving on an iconic R&B classic. Gayle commands the stage with versatility and dynamic control, captivating audiences with forceful, full-powered vocals as well as showing off her softer side with a heartfelt delivery that can make a grown man cry.
With her distinctive phrasing and raucous growl that can rattle the rafters, she is reminiscent of greats like Etta James and Koko Taylor. Her gravelly vocal style makes people sit up and take notice, while her warm, soulful tone and smooth, R&B vocals get them grooving on the dance floor. She is able to connect with her audience on a personal level through her original lyrics, soft-like-a-cashmere-sweater delivery and the raw emotion of a young Bonnie Raitt, and unique delivery of covers, transforming each song into her own.
Gayle has been mentored by the likes of Gaye Adegbalola of Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women and Resa Gibbs of MSG Acoustic Blues Trio, as well as Boogie-woogie Piano man, Daryl Davis. When Gayle began dabbling in the music scene in her mid-thirties, it quickly became a passion and outlet for creative expression, carrying her through some of the most challenging times of her life. She joined her first band in 2011 with a former high school classmate and never looked back. After singing with several cover bands, The Gayle Harrod Band was formed in 2017 to focus more on original music. Gayle and her band quickly began creating a buzz. At the 2018 Baltimore Band Block Party (hosted by WTMD Radio), they landed among the “Top 3 bands in Baltimore”. The band was also featured on the weekly “Baltimore Hit Parade” radio show with Sam Sessa.
Gayle has shared the stage as guest vocalist with legendary Boogie Woogie pianist and mentor Daryl Davis at Bethesda Blues and Jazz, AMP, and The Birchmere; and performed with both The Daryl Davis Band and Sol Roots Trio at the 2022 Silver Spring Blues Festival in Silver Spring, MD. She also opened the 2016 D.C. Blues Festival at Carter Barron Amphitheater with Blues, band, DC Mudd. Other Band performance highlights include the 2019 Whiskey Rebellion Festival in Washington, PA; the 2022 and 2023 Main Street Music Festival in Ellicott City, MD; 2023 Greenbelt Blues Festival, Greenbelt, MD and The 2023 Columbia Pike Blues Festival in Arlington, VA.
Stan TurkLead Guitar
Hailing from Baltimore, MD, Stan Turk is considered an innovative, technical master of the guitar. His sharp style and articulate playing makes him a natural for The Gayle Harrod Band. He smoothly navigates the intersections of Blues, Soul and R&B, while delivering a performance that captivates. Dynamic on stage, he is the perfect complement to Gayle Harrod’s voice and electrifying stage presence.
Growing up in a musical family in Baltimore, Stan’s musical career has covered almost every style and genre of music. He began playing in local clubs and bars well before he was old enough to drive, and appeared on the “Kerby Scott Show” with The Casino Royales, performed backup for such nationally-known acts as The Angels (“My Boyfriend’s Back”) and The Coasters. He spent several years playing with talented Jazz/Rock bands Jeremiah, United Endeavor and Falstaff, covering music from Chicago, and Blood, Sweat & Tears. He often was joined by horn players from Hank Levy’s renowned Towson State Jazz Ensemble, and provided opening-act support for such national acts as The Guess Who. Stan is a veteran player.
His full-time musical career took him up and down the East Coast – from Florida to Connecticut, and nearly every state in between – performing floor shows for about two years. He returned to the area to play clubs locally – mostly with the bands Pzazz, Secrets and Radiant – and has performed at just about every major musical venue in the Baltimore/Washington/Ocean City region, as well as providing backup for such nationally known acts such as The Coasters. Stan now concentrates on playing Jazz, Blues and R&B.
Hailing from Laurel, MD, Chuck Ferrell is one of the most accomplished, overall drummers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Chuck’s funky, soulful drumming is rooted in several styles, has a great Blues shuffle and great back beat, which make him a natural for The Gayle Harrod Band. His groove-oriented, hard-driving beats get the band cooking and holds them together. Chuck’s drumming is tight and he is always on the one. He is an absolute professional with a flair for Jazz in his style.
Chuck began his professional career at the age of 14. He has performed with Jazz, Rock and Country artists all over the world. Hailing from Danville, Virginia, he attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied private drum instruction with Clarence Penn and Jazz ensemble under the tutelage of Ellis Marsalis. Chuck has performed with artists such as Melba Moore, Mary Wilson, Kevin Walker, Lafayette Gilchrist, Alex Brown, Keter Betts and Gary Grainger.
In 2010, Chuck and Gary Garlic released the book “Groove Theory,” a comprehensive guide for the drum set percussionist. Chuck is also a rhythm section clinician who has worked with high school students and professional bands, helping them hone their skills, and garnering production credits for a number of CDs. Chuck’s first, self-produced EP, “Grateful,” consists of songs which he composed and performed with the Light Switch Band.
Doug RossBass Guitar
Doug Ross is considered a virtuoso, bassist…groove oriented, versatile playing makes him the perfect funky complement to the core members of The Gayle Harrod Band. He is an esteemed music instructor and solid, in the pocket bass player who’s full sound and tight rhythm, keeps the music together and rooted.
Doug has traveled an adventurous musical path around the world, from the Caribbean to Asia and all over the United States. He has performed and recorded with diverse artists such as jazz guitarist Jody Fisher, Motown legends Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Fantasia Musical Circus, Brazilian singer Katia Moraes, and rock drummer Gregg Bissonette.
Doug performed as a sideman and bandleader while living in Los Angeles, where he also released a solo album on Egad records. He now lives in Washington, D.C., and, when not providing the groove for The Gayle Harrod Band, he also performs with top local artists like Daryl Davis and Jaared Arosemena, as well as composes and performs all the music for the top-rated Futility Closet podcast.
Tyler BartramBass Guitar
Tyler Bartram is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator working in the DMV region. Equally comfortable on guitar and bass, he has done thousands of gigs and recording sessions on both instruments in a diverse set of styles including Jazz, Rock, Blues and even Country. His sound blends traditional Jazz language with the groove and soul of music from the 60’s and 70’s.
A native of Baltimore, MD, he attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he studied with Jazz heavyweights Paul Bollenback and Gary Thomas. In addition to his sideman work, he leads his own group, “SoulTET”, a staple of the DMV live music scene.
CC WilsonBass Guitar
CC “Bass” Wilson helps musicians to improve their playing confidence. She is a professional bassist,autor of “Play Confidently: Quiet Your Inner Critic”, speaker, personal development coach and co-founder and co-host of “Musicians Personal Development Podcast”. CC’s professional career started with playing with the Navy Band. She has over 20 years of experience performing in various bands covering a wide range of genres, including top 40, Latin, Jazz and Blues.