Even if some of us like to pretend that we go to school in the South, it isn’t too often that we see famous country bands at small, local venues in the District. However, on Tuesday Mar. 26th, the talented country trio, Gloriana, will perform at 9:30 Club and make its audience remember those long summer night drives and relaxing days at the lake that we’re all looking forward to.
Gloriana was formed back in 2008 and was originally a group of four, with brothers Tom and Mike Gossin, Rachel Reinert, and Cheyenne Kimball. In 2011, Kimball left the group, but Gloriana was determined to continue making music together as a trio.
From the beginning of their individual careers, Gloriana’s three members had been passionate about making music and performing, but, even after devoting their lives to music, their careers as musicians didn’t flourish until they finally came together in Nashville in 2008.
Tom and Mike performed in bars together for 10 years, but as he describes, “[I]t wasn’t until the three of [them] got together that [they] knew [they] had something special.”
The trio stuck together through several turbulent events throughout which they often doubted whether their music would ever take off. Their wishes were granted after releasing their self-titled debut album of 2009 and watching it soar to the top of country music charts.
On their current tour, Gloriana will be featuring their newest album, A Thousand Miles Left Behind, which has been praised as a “consistent, strong album that remains in a strong musical sweet spot that gives [Gloriana] a dynamic and unique presence.”
Critics have not only impressed with Gloriana’s perseverance after the loss of a band member, but they also commend A Thousand Miles Left Behind for having “tighter vocals” and “crisper melodies” than the band had ever previously exhibited.
The newest album is also unique in comparison to Gloriana’s previous albums because it tends to lean more to the country genre rather than their previous norm of pop. Critics say that this genre-shift, as well as the fact that the three members of Gloriana co-wrote every song on the album with some of the best songwriters of Nashville, which contributes to an organic sound and feel that evinces how invested and connected the three musicians are to their music.
The passion evident in their vocals and lyrics as well as their ability to play with harmonies and a back-and-forth dialogue between male and female vocals has contributed to the success of A Thousand Miles Left Behind. This characteristic is especially evident in the single that promoted the album’s release: “(Kissed You) Good Night“.
The song exhibits controlled variation from its minor key melodies to the fast and dramatic choruses, allowing the musicians and listeners alike to get caught in the drama of the love story (which is even further dramatized through their music video). Instrumentally, the song presents classic country sounds, but refreshingly adds nice touches of mandolin, steel guitar, and interesting instruments like the dulcimer.
A second single, “Can’t Shake You” again presents Gloriana’s strong vocals and another duet with beautiful, moving harmonies that evince the band’s maturity, both lyrically and melodically. In addition, instrumentally, ”Can’t Shake You” plays with a variety of fiddles as well as electronic instrumental programming that resonates like cellos and oboes, mixing together into a emotional melody that accents story within the lyrics about not being able to break free emotionally and mentally from a past relationship.
A few of Gloriana’s other songs on A Thousand Miles Left Behind have little to do with relationships, but are nonetheless deeply emotional and personal. Mike, for example, sings directly from his past in “Turn My World Around“, in which he describes some of the darkest times of his life. Rachel and Tom have very personal memoirs embedded within the lyrics of Gloriana’s songs as well.
For something different from the typical DJ concert in DC, come see and hear Gloriana perform at 9:30 Club on Tuesday, March 26th. Tickets can be purchased for $15 on 9:30 Club’s website.
Photo: Gloriana Website