GERONIMO GETTY :: GREYHOUND BLUES
As a child, songwriter Aaron Kyle spent spent a lot of time on the road, staring out the window of a Greyhound bus. His mother didn’t fly, and she didn’t take trains, which meant trips from California to visit her family in Kentucky where all done via the bus system. You hear echoes of those journeys in Greyhound Blues, a country noir by Kyle’s band Geronimo Getty, and you see visual elements from those drives in the ten short films that accompany the album.
“Travel has been a big part of my life,” Kyle says. The songwriter says he “grew up” on the road, shaped by his experiences driving cross-country on his own, and touring as a member of the rock band Le Switch. The album, Kyle says, is “kind of about those adventures and experiences.”
This month finds Geronimo Getty taking on a month-long stint at Los Angeles honky-tonk the Escondite and releasing Greyhound Blues on vinyl. More than a simple travelog, the record strings together multiple narratives about a man “easily given to violence.” The record is full of dramatic tension: “Mister James” evokes a jealous lover over distorted country riffs and barroom piano, “Devil’s Theft” finds Kyle’s voice cloaked in fuzz. Many of the songs, like the sashaying “Dancing In The Morning Light” and the Bakersfield-styled “On A Plane,” concern running away — escaping desperate circumstances. “In the last few years I’ve definitely had my own bouts of trying to run away from my own bullshit,” Kyle says.
But while Kyle imbues the album with a dark sentiment, it shines the most when he embraces his romantic, nostalgic side: the blustery “Wild Heart” features gorgeous pedal steel courtesy Brian Whelan, the late night ballad “Where Are You Tonight” features vulnerable couplets like “Something about the way you touch me/everything can kinda slow down,” and the record closes with a celebratory, big hearted cover of Guy Clarke’s “Anyhow I Love You.”
“Some of the songs are really personal to me,” Kyle says. Perhaps the title track is the most close to home, and also the most touching. Those bus rides across the desert and into the heartland shaped Kyle and his future songs.
“When I was a kid we lived in an apartment,” Kyle says. “Going to Kentucky, there was all this space. My aunt has a pond in her backyard, we would go and get catfish, chase frogs around. There’d be thunderstorms. It was a whole environment I had no idea existed. I remember it being a wonderland.
And you can hear that in the uncluttered, unfussy arrangements on Greyhound Blues, mostly cut live in the studio. You can hear that spacious landscapes in Kyle’s head. There’s lingering darkness, but also “big open skies.”
“I like to imagine myself in those spaces,” Kyle says, and in his songs you can imagine yourself there too.
Aquariam Drunkard 2015
Geronimo Getty Turned Their New Album, ‘Greyhound Blues,’ into 10 Brilliant Short Films
While so many artists are turning these days to lyric videos to give their music a visual component, Geronimo Getty went a different direction. By crafting 10 short films to go along with their upcoming Greyhound Blues LP, the alt-country band out of Los Angeles can interpret their stories through more than just music.
Band leader/songwriter Aaron Kyle drew inspiration for the album from legendary writers like Guy Clark, John Prine, and Lucinda Williams. Because the songs on the set were cinematic in nature, Kyle says, “I wanted to create a visual experience that would encourage the listener to sit down and hear the whole album as one piece.”
Kyle partnered with a bevy of independent filmmakers, from Bryan Kamer and Craig Bauer (Presence) to Allison Anders (Grace of My Heart; Gas, Food, Lodging) and quite a few others. Together, they leave a trail of crumbs for the audience to follow in order to find their way through the work as a whole
It’s not like it’s World War III or anything, but still: I found a great Country record, y’all… an almost painfully normal, blues-based, Country rock’n’roll record. I wonder if I’m compromising my weirdo rep by posting this, but there’s no other way to put it, nothing else to call it. Any genre or style of music has its ups and downs, to be certain, and Country might get an especially bad rap because the majority of it that we see and hear in the pop mainstream is so… horrifyingly bad, often racist, religious-gross, etc. But this here, this be a glimmer in the West’s weary eye, a bright, young baritone in the voice of Aaron Kyle, who’s put together a collection of tunes that stands strong as an ox. Borrowing the plaintive melodic charm of the greats and spreading the workload around a solid band willing to buy into his stories enough, Geronimo Getty delivers wilting lap-steel, snare trotting along like a horse’s hooves, all of it translating into a record that’s as easy to listen to as it can be an engaging surprise. I’m remiss to share this “Devil’s Theft” number, as it’s the only one Getty’s giving up for streaming so far, but I gave my ears a peak at the whole album, and the thing holds up, especially the title track – Greyhound Blues seems out to prove that those tired tropes of Country, ballads about the long road of life and lost loves, and on and on, are just as true and relevant now as they always have been. All it takes is another great voice to remind us.
– Tiny Mix Tapes 2015
Alle hipsters die met Daniel Romano de country hebben ontdekt, zouden ook eens moeten luisteren naar dit Greyhound Blues (eigen beheer) van Geronimo Getty. Uitermate cool plaatje! Met Mister James begint het direct helemaal goed. De zang houdt het midden tussen Johnny Cash en Sal Valentino. De laatste was zanger van de legendarische band Beau Brummels. En wie Johnny Cash was, hoef je geen hipster meer uit te leggen. Diens American Recordings maakten country immers cool. Afijn, dat nummer Mister James draait rond de strofe ‘you stole the sunshine from my eyes’. Een donkere gitaar hangt als een zonneklep boven de ogen. Door Dancing In The Morning Light ploegt een baritongitaar en melodisch doet het een beetje denken aan Chicken Bill van Romano. Het nummer begint trouwens helemaal als Gram Parsons. De steelgitaar op On A Plane crasht alsof Sneaky Pete Kleinow achter het ding zit in de hoogtijdagen van The Flying Burrito Brothers. Instrumentaal is dit een uitermate puik plaatje. Zanger Aaron Kyle heeft een prachtstem en de liedjes van hem zijn ook meer dan in orde. Where Are You Tonight? krijgt een fijne kale basis van de drummer. De gitaristen weten er wel raad mee. En dan die stuiterende gitaar van Devil’s Theft, helemaal goed. Het liedje over het moment dat er geen ontsnapping meer mogelijk is het lot dat ons allen zal treffen doet in de verte qua sfeer aan als iets van Lloyd Cole in een donkere bui. Het titelnummer grijpt terug naar de dagen dat Kyle als jochie met zijn moeder in een Greyhound-bus dwars door Amerika reed. Van Californië naar Kentucky waar ze vandaan kwam en weer terug. Ze had een hekel aan vliegen en de trein, dus ging familiebezoek met de bus. We Can Run is een duet met Valerie McCann. Naast de acht liedjes van Kyle droeg gitarist Christopher Harrison Where Are You Tonight aan, terwijl het album besloten wordt met Anyhow I Love You, een cover van Guy Clark. Lees ook nog maar eens de recensie van Darkness Hides van Geronimo Getty. Op de website is het hele album te beluisteren middels tien aaneensluitende videoclips.
— Altcountry.nl 2015
Trading in the muscle of a rock band, Aaron Kyle steps away from fronting California indie darlings, Le Switch, for a singer/songwriter’s tenderness on his solo debut, Darkness Hides. Tender, yes, but in no way weak – Kyle’s songwriting (now under the moniker Geronimo Getty) is sharp and expressive with a conviction befitting the Americana roots he aspires to. Kyle’s rock background peaks through often enough, with some great Mike Campbell-esque electric guitar accents, but it’s largely a traditionalist affair. Within that tradition though, Kyle entirely eschews one pillar of Americana for another, entirely forsaking characters and story songs for personal introspections. And these are as earnest as they come on standouts like the outlaw-country brooding of the title track and the lovelorn acoustics of “Dear Lover.” With a weary baritone smacking of Townes Van Zandt (and a touch of nasal Jonathan Richman), Kyle’s voice seems genetically engineered to plead over a whining fiddle ballad or achingly falter over a country lover’s lament. And like Van Zandt before him, he doesn’t need great range to get his point across. It’s always been more important in the American folk tradition to wring a feeling out of your voice rather than virtuosity, and Kyle wrings out plenty on this solid debut.
– Performer Magazine 2012
Aaron Kyle has dialed it back, but in no way should the Los Angeles singer-songwriter’s new approach be considered a retreat. As frontman of the swampy Americana outfit Le Switch, Kyle’s big, boozy vocals were fit for a New Orleans saloon. Now doing business as Geronimo Getty, he brings tempered, tremulous tones to the table on his new EP, “Darkness Hides.” Geronimo Getty’s country-fried stylings are more Man in Black (or Waylon and Willie) than Mardi Gras, and a host of local players bring their talents to EP, including ex-Le Switch guitarist Chris Harrison, who takes up that instrument as well as mandolin, banjo and lap steel. Morgan Germar contributes strings, with Seb Bailey (bass), Brian Sokia (drums) and Valerie McCann (background vocals) joining in. “Darkness Hides” arrives on Tuesday, and it’ll make you glad Kyle didn’t.
– Buzzbands.la 2012
This is why I love what I do. Music from artists like Geronimo Getty. Geronimo Getty is releasing an E.P. on May 8th called Darkness Hides. The only problem is that it is only 7 songs! True, seven amazing, great new songs is something to cling to. Musically, Geronimo Getty could have given me two or twenty songs, I would have been happy with anything. Aaron Kyle, formerly of Le Switch, is making music to grab onto and cherish. Aaron took his first solo project in the direction of a softly, picturesque Americana sound that really should be enjoyed for its earnest, simple beauty. This is music to relish play after play. The Band is Aaron Kyle, Christopher Harrison, Seb Bailey, and Brian Soika.
– Loudvine.com 2012
Kyle, the former lead singer of Le Switch, rocked out with a legion of string instruments on the bare bones Jerry’s Stage that utilized the baking hot sun as a spotlight. Kyle easily pulls at your heartstrings using his warm voice with a rough edge reminiscent of early Elvis Presley recordings. Playing mostly tracks from the recently released EP Darkness Hides, this band drips Americana featuring intensely personal lyrics and an earnest fiddle that seems to have a voice of its own.
– BuzzChips 2012
Geronimo Getty is Aaron Kyle’s (Le Switch) new project, country songs in the vein of a Buck Owens Bakersfield sound. Until their recent show at the Echo I only had seen Kyle work this material solo or as a duo with longtime guitarist Chris Harrison. These were heart-wrenching, but starkly beautiful, cry-in-your-beer laments in the opening set. Geronimo Getty plays a record release show with the full band Sunday at 6pm at 1642 Bar on Temple St with Angela Correa and Josh Norton. Geronimo Getty’s debut EP Darkness Hides will be released officially May 8.
– Radio Free Silverlake