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Worcester’s GrandEvolution Still Rocking After More Than a Decade

Friday, February 08, 2013


Photo: Chris Norton

Worcester's GrandEvolution is not a newcomer on the New England music scene. For over 10 years now, this band's seamless blend of alternative, punk and pop has won them acclaim across Worcester, Boston and southern New England.

The group has even toured nationally, playing in small and medium sized venues, sharing the stage with notable alternative acts including, but not limited to, Soul Asylum, Andrew Varner, and the Wandas. The band has released three full length albums and three additional EPs, and have received various accolades from local publications celebrating their music and the hypnotically mellow and soothing vocals of lead vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and co-founder of the band, Sarah Kenyon.

But this has by no means been easy. The band's emerging success has come after immense hard work and even a few setbacks. Though they enjoy music and couldn't think of their life without it, the life of the musician is demanding in more ways than one. This fact shows one must truly have an innate love and passion for the art to continue with it for as long as they have.

"I enjoy writing songs, performing, booking shows, touring, recording, releasing records and pretty much everything that comes along with being in a band. The only part I don't like is the expense; it is a very expensive lifestyle! Gear, recording, touring, renting a place to practice, promotions are all costly," says Kenyon.

Indeed, she must work two jobs on top of her music career.

But, she goes on, "writing has always been a place for me to express how I feel in a fun and creative way, and I like being able to give or sell my art to others who want to listen."

Kenyon also tells of the particular struggles they've had in their efforts to record and produce their music.

"Recording has been a difficult learning experience," she explains.  "We dealt with more than a few producers and engineers along the way who were just out to rip us off.  I could write a book on how awful our recording experience was for The Recovery (our 2010 release)."

Instead of allowing this awful experience to embitter them, it made them stronger. The group took it to heart, made sure they never forgot it and, in the end, learned from it.

"If you purchase a hard copy from us at the shows you'll notice the 3 snakes on the actual CD.  That was for the 3 snakes that tried to take advantage of us.  It's called The Recovery because we salvaged what we could for tracks so we could release the record so that we'd have a product to tour with."

Thankfully, according to Sarah, they've largely mastered the art of recording on their own. Their most recent album is a 2012 release entitled Collide which is available for purchase on iTunes. The album received praise from fans all over the world. They even made a music video for the positively delightful and energetic pop song "Sweetheart."

With 15 new songs written, the band is currently working on a new album that they hope to finish up this fall.

Listening to their music, you will certainly notice the influences of '90s alternative rock and pop bands such as the Cranberries and Soul Asylum. This is no coincidence.

"Growing up, my mom always had an acoustic guitar hanging around the house and I'd always wanted to play, but it wasn't until I went to my first concert (the Cranberries, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Cracker) that I decided to take a few guitar lessons," says Kenyon.

"I saw Soul Asylum a few months later with the Jayhawks, Matthew Sweet and Victoria Williams and that show pretty much changed my life!  After seeing Soul Asylum, I knew rocking out in a band was what I wanted to do and I haven't stopped since!"

Other members of the band include Sarah's fellow co-founder Scott Kenyon on drums, Dave Trombley on lead guitar, and Steve Saritelli on bass.

You can commonly see them playing their vivacious "all out rock" shows at a plethora of different local venues including Ralph's Diner, the Lucky Dog, Tammany Hall, the Raven, the Ship Room, The Spot Underground, the Ruins, The Met Cafe, Mohegan Sun, The Lazy Dog, TT the Bears, The Middle East upstairs and downstairs, Church of Boston, Copperfields, and O'Briens.

"I hope that people can relate to the songs. Even if they don't, I hope they find the music to be catchy enough to want to check us out live, or look us up on ITunes! No one can seem to pinpoint exactly who we sound like. I like that people think we are unique!" Kenyon says of what she hopes listeners or concert-goers get out of the music.

"I definitely have fun playing shows, and it's a great feeling when people appreciate your work."

To hear music and found out more about the GrandEvolution, visit their website or find them on Facebook or at ReverbNation. 


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