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Bands often struggle with identity. Ask an artist “What do you sound like?” and you’re apt to be met with shuffling feet and a resistance to pigeonhole themselves. It’s no secret that rock & roll, country, soul can peacefully coexist on the record shelf, and with their new eponymous double LP, the six members of Kansas City’s The Grisly Hand have attempted to create a document that transcends genre.


Formed in 2009 by vocalists Jimmy Fitzner and Lauren Krum and taking their unlikely moniker from Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology, The Grisly Hand made an immediate splash with “Paris Of The Plains”, a catchy ode to the band’s home town from their debut EP Safe House (2010). Both the band’s garish name (which belied lovely harmonies and astute, country-tinged songwriting) and the song (which tempered genuine reverence with a dose of snark and weary humor) were indicators of things to come.


Next was the 2012 single “Western Ave”, Lauren Krum’s ode to Chicago’s longest thoroughfare. Here, the band (now including Ben Summers on guitar, mandolin and vocals) augmented delicate acoustic instrumentation with bombastic drums and vocals from the entire band, evoking the intricate, coiled harmonies of CSN&Y or Fleet Foxes. Another lineup change brought drummer Matt Richey and steel guitarist Mike Stover into the fold, and the band entered the studio to record their first full-length album.


The title of 2013’s Country Singles was intended as a goof; it is the title of a newsletter for rural Midwesterners in search of love (discovered by the band while on tour), as well as a winking acknowledgement of the band’s identity as a country act (despite taking steps to transcend that characterization). The album was an immediate success, landing on many of the year’s best-of lists in Kansas City. “Singles is a confirmation, evidence of The Grisly Hand’s evolution to a band with its own solid identity and clear voice, a sound rooted in country music but colored and accented by a variety of American sounds,” wrote The Kansas City Star. Critic Bill Brownlee enthused “Anyone who appreciates Grievous Angel, the duets of John Doe & Exene Cervenka,  or albums released by Bloodshot Records will adore Country Singles.” A video was filmed for the title track; a tongue-in-cheek tale of a lovelorn trucker who finds true love on a drive-in movie screen--after he rescues her from a cult of demonic hippies!


Following tours that took the band from Colorado to New York, The Grisly Hand recruited bassist/keyboardist Dan Loftus and began another round of recording in 2014. Almost two years later, their efforts bore fruit with The Grisly Hand, a sprawling and expansive double LP. (The material was released on CD/digital as Flesh & Gold (2015) and Hearts & Stars (2016).)  Tracks like “Regrets On Parting” and “Hearts & Stars” find the band shedding all trappings of genre, instead forging their own path and identity. Regarding the LP’s stunning gatefold package, Modern Vinyl proclaimed. “This may be the most understated and classy-looking release I’ve laid my hands on all year.” No Depression scribe Mike Warren noted “They’ve managed to combine The Basement Tapes’ creative ethos with a willingness to try out ‘just one more layer’ in songs about the struggle to keep going.” The Kansas City Star writes “The Grisly Hand is a triumph, an ambitious showcase of styles, attitudes and musicianship from a band that has consistently grown craftier and more refined with each album.”

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Our self-titled double LP is available now!
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The Grisly Hand is a rock & roll band from Kansas City MO.

Our self-titled LP is 

available now

"A band with its own solid identity and clear voice, a sound rooted in country music but colored and accented by a variety of American sounds, from rock & roll to folk and soul."

-The Kansas City Star

Jimmy Fitzner

Lauren Krum

Dan Loftus

Matt Richey

Mike Stover

Ben Summers

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