"ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2007" AT THE VANCOUVER ISLAND MUSIC AWARDS"!
...the three billy goats have become four young women who play folk music with the skill of old-timers." -Penguin Eggs Magazine
Come join this inspired and talented young band out of Victoria, BC , as they challenge you to pin a label on their music. The Gruff filter numerous folk traditions through the sieve of modern experience to create a truly unique sound. From old-time to country; from bluegrass to rock n roll; these young songwriters harmonize, sing and shout songs of joy, sorrow, and everything in between; with astounding energy and passion.
With their easy, comfortable stage presence and their obvious delight in performance, The Gruff bring an easy smile to each audience member's face. Themes of love, heartache, travel, and hard work, are interspersed with traditional tunes picked up over their various journeys. Every song has a story behind it, and viewers are caught up in the group's genuinely engaging chemistry.
From the early days of traditional Irish pub tunes, the young band - then called Billy Goats Gruff - evolved and grew together, and established a strong West Coast fan base. As they matured creatively and instrumentally, they incorporated original songs with a country flavour into their repertoire. Received with enthusiasm by audiences, the young Goats nurtured this original sound and developed into the band today known as The Gruff.
Lately the three core band members are to be found folk-rocking the stage, joined by a rotating fourth on fiddle. Phaedra Kemp (vocals, snare drum, harmonica), Jenny Ritter (vocals, guitar, mandolin), and Terri Upton (double bass, vocals) are high-energy performers, and obviously great friends. The Gruffs instrumental prowess is unusual in such a young group and they have stomped stages from Vancouver to Halifax. They've endeared themselves to audiences from Victoria's Rootsfest, to the Ottawa Folk Festival, to the Hillside Festival in Guelph.
The Gruff released their anticipated third album effort in October 2006, recorded at Marlborough Studios (produced by Adrian Dolan of The Bills). Featured guests include Steve Dawson (Zubot and Dawson), Tania Elizabeth (The Duhks), Kendel Carson (Paperboys/Outlaw Social), Old Man Luedecke and more.
Fellow musicians and audiences alike predict that this ambitious yet unassuming young band will go far and travel widely, because as is apparent to all, they have heaping amounts of the most essential ingredient in any recipe for success: A passionate love for what they do.