Singer and primary songwriter Erik Yates brought the Giants together in 2011 on a lark. Yates fell in love with the sound of the pedal steel guitar, and wanted to frame some of his newer songs with the instrument. Keyboardist Jeff Coleman (Big Light), bassist Mark Murphy (Huckle) and drummer Lucas Carlton (HBR) — a trio of friends who have played together for a decade (most recently in Izabella) — turned up to help, but as fate would have it, the pedal steel player was busy, so the guys called on Chris Haugen (Melvin Seals, Poor Man’s Whiskey) to fill the spot with his tasty Telecaster & lap steel playing.
This band can push, pull, bend, and bruise with the best of them — there’s no shortage of raw talent, refined skill, and youthful energy between them — but listening to these songs, it’s not just the decades of musical experience one hears, but all the glorious, messy living that’s accompanied it. That familiar mix of love, joy, fear, and heartbreak that defines us all.
Their debut release might get filed under Americana, Indie Folk, or even (gasp!) Country Rock, but it’s all just Rock & Roll. It’s an Oakland potluck, where banjo, steel guitar, and gritty rock organ come together like beef ribs and kale salad. It’s all good, and you’re always welcome.
3. Diamonds in the Wind
4. Let It Fall
6. 13th Avenue Blues
7. She Spent the Night