Grant Ewing Band

Many local bands can trace their beginnings back to shows through the Texas Hill Country, from Austin to San Antonio and small towns around and in between.

Most of the bands are purely country or rock. Not many can provide a sound so diverse as to engage all different types of genres while producing an energetic yet soulful sound — excluding the Grant Ewing Band.

The band is lead singer and guitarist Grant Ewing, lead guitarist Hunter St. Marie, drummer Jake Sutton, pianist and organist Nathaniel Klugman and bassist Colin Colby.

The musicians said it’s difficult to pick one genre they would consider themselves. Klugman said he likes to tell people they’re “blues, soul and rock ’n’ roll.”

I did not fully understand what they meant until I watched the band play at Triple Crown Tuesday night.

Ewing, Klugman and St. Marie formed the Grant Ewing Band in San Marcos in 2004, and Sutton was a later addition. Interestingly enough, they are all university alumni, with the exception of Ewing.

The group has recorded two full-length albums. Rainmaker was released in 2005, and Move, was released in July of this year. All band members agreed “The Touch,” from Move, is their favorite song to perform, as well as being the most popular with audience members.

Ewing said the best thing about playing San Marcos shows is that it’s a small community where faces become familiar, and it becomes more personal. All the band members met locally and said they are familiar with the ins and outs of the town.

“If it weren’t for San Marcos, we wouldn’t be a band,” Sutton said.

I found it inspiring to witness so many different types of music in one band’s set and to see them interacting so much with the audience. I was thoroughly impressed with Ewing’s low, melodic vocals in the soulful and bluesy “Dirt On You” and with the limitless honesty of Klugman’s one-of-a-kind keyboard solos.

There is absolutely no way I could write this column without mentioning the intricate and absurd amount of talented sound St. Marie produced on guitar. I was 100 percent wowed by each and every solo.

Andres Villegas, finance senior, said he was amazed by the band’s musical diversity, which appeared again in “Umbrellas,” a song with obvious reggae roots.

“It’s becoming more and more uncommon to hear reggae music in this area,” Villegas said. “It’s awesome they were able to incorporate it.”

The band’s main influences and inspirations include Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, The Doors, The Flaming Lips and Count Basie. I could see styles from each of these artists in their set.

“I respect a handful of Texas country bands, but it seems like college students stick to the same (artists),” Ewing said. “We try to be something different and alternative for them.”

The band is scheduled to play at the Texas State Nov. 21 tailgate.

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