Modern sounds in rockabilly music:
Based out of Philadelphia, PA, Ameripolitan rockabilly outfit, Mighty Joe Castro & The Gravamen is the latest musical project from accomplished collage artist and musician Joe Castro (ex-The Situation, The Lift Up). Influenced by 50’s Rock and Roll and infused with post modern Easter eggs cribbed from old episodes of MTV’s 120 Minutes, Mighty Joe Castro takes a modern, lyric driven approach to songwriting while The Gravamen layer on Jesus and Mary Chain-cover-Link Wray guitar atmosphere, booming doghouse bass and swinging beats. The quartet lurks at a crossroads where Sun Records and Creation Records meet.
According to Joe Castro: “Our goal is to play original rock-n-roll, in the style of the pioneers, but update it lyrically and sonically. Take what we’ve learned, everything great that’s come after and go apply it to that original sound. What if Buddy Holly had access to a stack of effects pedals and some Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds records? That’s the ethos of the band.”
The Gravamen were formed in 2017 after doghouse bassist H00V3r reached out to Castro about working together. H00V3r enlisted Dallas, his band mate in Philadelphia punk rock stalwarts Thorazine, to play drums and later found hot-shot lead guitarist Michael Stingle floating around Mount Airy. The full band held its first practice together in January 2018 and shortly after recorded their debut EP, Wake Up, You’re Rockin’! in May 2018. They released their debut full length album, “Come On Angels” on July 31, 2020. It was recorded at Miner Street Recordings and produced by Brian McTear (Sharon Van Etten, Dr Dog, Dead Milkmen).
Influences include Sun Records, Stray Cats, The Cramps, Hillbilly Moon Explosion, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Los Lobos combined with elements of punk and shoegaze with a lyrical influence of Morrissey, Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Bob Dylan.
Influences include Sun Records, Stray Cats, The Cramps, Buddy Holly and Richie Valens, combined with elements of punk and shoegaze with a lyrical influence of Morrissey, Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Bob Dylan.
Mighty Joe Castro is an accomplished Philadelphia based collage artist, musician and graphic designer. His work has been shown in galleries and art spaces across the United States, Canada and Europe and featured in numerous books and magazines including The Age of Collage (Gestalten), Glamour, GQ Style, Arkitip and The Baffler. They have been described as “a controlled explosion, aggressive and pensive (Kolaj Magazine)” and “bold and diverse… one of those collage artists whose works you recognize immediately… (Toombes.com).” He is a signature member of the National Collage Society. For more information, visit mightyjoecastro.com