The Old Country Crows
THE OLD COUNTRY CROWS – THE GEORGE HOTEL – FRIDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER – 7PM
The Old Country Crows have their roots way back in 1988 when Gary Virtue and Mark Griffiths first crossed paths. At this time Gary moved to the same Kent village as Mark and, upon meeting, they realised immediately that they had the same musical tastes which were mainly routed in the classic sounds of the 1960’s. By then Gary had moved on from playing drums and was stepping up on guitar while Mark was in the early stages of playing guitar.
Their first performances together were around 1993 culminating in the formation of Big Stick – a duo playing covers. A show in 1995 covered the Beatles’ Hamburg years, Beatlemania and Sergeant Pepper complete with outfits and wigs ! A show in 1999 contained the first original song performed by Gary and Mark entitled Lights. The coming of the new millennium saw Gary and Mark depart village life and head their separate ways. However, they regrouped in September 2010 when the seeds of The Old Country Crows were planted. Gary had driven the 2448 miles of Mother Road, namely Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles in the summer of 2007 experiencing along the way the music, motels and magic of the iconic route dating from 1926.
The experience of the road trip inspired Gary to write some new songs and Out In The Sun was quickly penned followed by A Different Angle and A Little History. Further songs emerged and following a couple of studio sessions where demos of some of these songs were recorded Gary perceived that the time was right to get them played out on the road. A demo of Writing On The Wall was recorded with Ollie Seager in 2009. Ollie was to record the Behind The Rain album and songs for the Listen To Me EP in 2019. Demos of Out In The Sun and A Little History were recorded at Quantum Leap Studios in 2010. The songs sounded good and were ready for the road.
Gary’s obvious first point of contact regarding live performance was Mark and following a get-together in September 2010 the story of The Old Country Crows commenced. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2013 followed by Another Christmas Song EP in 2017 and the Behind The Rain album in 2020. The latest release, the 5-track Listen To Me EP, was recorded at the Behind The Rain sessions and finally sees the light of day with it’s release in June 2021. Craig Wild has been the band’s drummer since 2016 and Tim Geer replaced the band’s stalwart bass player, Ian Bottle, following Ian’s retirement in 2020. Mark Griffiths departed the band in 2021 to be replaced by Chris Pike.