The Gruff | The Gruff

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CANADA - Ontario

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Folk: Modern Folk Country: Country Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Gruff

by The Gruff

Coastal Country - West Coast women blending country, bluegrass, folk and rock in a truly uniqe way.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Siren Smile
3:08 $0.99
2. The General Store
3:11 $0.99
3. More Than Weary
3:23 $0.99
4. King of Clubs
3:38 $0.99
5. The Silver Dagger
3:35 $0.99
6. The Party Song
2:49 $0.99
7. J-root Leaner
1:58 $0.99
8. House of Cards
3:16 $0.99
9. Handsome Molly
4:19 $0.99
10. East For the Winter
2:44 $0.99
11. The Ginger Set
3:47 $0.99
12. The Owl Song
3:35 $0.99
13. Just For the Record
3:39 $0.99
14. Lucky Moon
2:04 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Gruff - Coastal Country

"...the three billy goats have become four young women who play folk music with the skill of old-timers."
-Penguin Eggs Magazine

Howdy, and welcome to Gruff country. Not your standard "country", this inspired and talented young band out of Victoria, BC challenges you to pin a label on their music. The band members, also song-writers, filter numerous folk traditions through the sieve of modern experience, to create a truly unique sound. From old-time to country, bluegrass to good old rock-and-roll, these women relay joy, sorrow, and everything in between, with astounding efficacy.

The Gruff bring a smile to every audience with their easy, comfortable stage presences, and their obvious delight in performance. Their extensive experience shines through songs of love, heartache, travel, and hard work, interspersed with traditional tunes picked up over their various journeys. Every song has a story behind it, and the audiences learn more about the band through charismatic and amusing stage banter. This group's chemistry is apparent and intreguing.

The fundamental essence of The Gruff was hatched in the atmospheric nest of Victoria's busking scene over five years ago. From those days of traditional Irish pub tunes, the young band - then called "Billy Goats Gruff"- evolved and grew together, creating a comfortable repor with each other, and their well-established West-Coast fan base. As they matured, creatively and instrumentally, they incorporated original songs with a country flavour into their repertoire. Received with enthusiasm by audiences, this original sound was nurtured and encouraged, to thus develop into the band today known as The Gruff.

Phaedra Kemp, one of the two main composers accompanies her edgy, country-folk vocals on the snare drum, and does her time on the melencholie harmonica as well. Jenny Ritter is the other songwriter, and hammers the guitar like John Henry himself while she sings. Holding down the fort is Terri Upton on the double bass - the instrument is nearly as big as she is, but she keeps it steady as a Ford Truck on a logging road while backing up on harmony vocals. Over the past year, these three have been joined by a number of hot fiddlers but these days Adam Iredale-Gray is usually playing up a storm with the Gruff gals. Their three-part harmonies are thick and sweet, and their prowess at their instruments is unusual in such a young group. They've engaged audiences from Victoria's renowned "Rootsfest" to the Ottawa Folk Festival, Hillside Festival in Guelph, and the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival in Nova Scotia.

The Gruff's 3d album (self titled) was released in October, 2006, and recorded at Marlborough Studios (produced by Adrian Dolan of The Bills). On the album they are joined by such high-profile Canadian guest musicians as Steve Dawson (Zubot and Dawson), Tania Elizabeth (The Duhks) and Old Man Luedecke.

This ambitious, yet unpretentious young band is predicted to go far and wide, by fellow musicians and audiences alike. They strive to be succesful in their endeavors, because, as is apparent to all, The Gruff dearly love what they do. And this is a recipe for success.



to write a review

Timothy Harris

The Gruff
Another fantastic group of women Canadian singer/songwriters. Seems to be a new trend and I love it!


Such enjoyment in 1 cd!
Stunning voices, beautiful music, happy making and uplifting, incredible cd. LOVE The Gruff!

Gloria Manning

The Gruff
I love this album! I can relate to so many of the songs. I love the harmony and the stories that the songs tell.The lyrics are not just one refrain over and over and that is the type of music I will listen over and over. Well done!


Get This Album!
This is a ridiculously good album. It has been one of our favourites for quite a few years now. The beautiful harmonies, up lifting instrumentals, and poetic lyrics that are a joy to sing-along with will keep this album in your CD changer/MP3 player permanently. I only wish the Gruff was still together so I could get more! Seriously. Get it.


raise a glass to The Gruff
The women of The Gruff raise their unique voices and talents in thoughtful and mellow folk offerings. Fun and feel good. They're not the only talented band blending the old and the new (the amazing Crooked Still comes to mind). But The Gruff on their eponymous CD write their own songs, and there's a story behind every song. For example, "The General Store" is about working hard to plant trees (and maybe mending hearts). "King of Clubs" is about passing the time on a long road trip by playfully predicting spouses with a deck of cards. The guitar and fiddles in "J-Root Learner" amaze me. Everything about the album is great. Maybe the most amazing thing, though, is how much heart and soul the three women get into the songs. A keeper for sure!

Drew E. P.

The Gruff is Grrreat!
Well, I think the music samples speak for themselves (so just listen to them) and are reflective of what the album offers in its entirety: Fun and pretty music and lovely three-voice harmonies while offering interesting perspectives of the lyricists. Plus a couple great instrumental tracks. It's a totally consistent album in quality, while still keeping it fresh (for the lack of a better term). I like the album more I hear it. But again, the best way figure stuff out for yourself is to listen to the samples. (Two earlier albums are available on the band's website; they are also real fun.)