A new generation of Midwest Country music, St. Louis’ Les Gruff and the Billy Goat released their third album in December 2018. Their sound, driving like a barge and rolling like a riverboat, defines a genre the band has affectionately deemed “River Dirt.” Akin to its cousins in the Oklahoma and Texas Red Dirt genre, River Dirt perfectly captures the roots, rhythms, and reflections of life in historic middle America. The album, entitled Les Gruff and the Billy Goat, demonstrates the maturity of a band that has spent years touring extensively in Texas, the Midwest, and beyond.
Lead singer Billy Croghan originally formed the group out of personally challenging circumstances after losing his father – the man who gave him his first guitar – in a highly-public suicide. Mixed with grief and the growing pains that come along in one’s mid-twenties, the band originally wrote this collection of songs at its inception. Armed with a whole new perspective after years of performing and traveling together, the band has polished this album of toe-tappers and lovers’ laments into a precious gem ready for release into the now booming Americana scene.
To complement their refined take on these tracks, they recorded at Native Sound Studio, the choice of many of St. Louis’ premier recording artists such as Tommy Halloran and Pokey LaFarge with engineer Patrick Crecelius at the control panel, and mastered the songs with St. Louis’ Brad Sarno at Blue Jade Audio Mastering.
Les Gruff and the Billy Goat have been regularly touring through Texas, performing with bands like Mike & the Moonpies, Justin Wells, Mayeux and Broussard of Austin, TX, and recently opened for rising Americana star Charley Crockett (Dallas, TX) in St. Louis.