Thursday, June 1, 7 p.m.
Raccoon Motel, 315 East Second Street, Davenport IA
With their 2022 album Wait lauded by Americana UK as "an incredible offering" in which "the songs incorporate heartfelt topical lyrics while embracing old school Texan music," the folk and alt-country talents of Grady Spencer & the Work headline a June 1 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, their newest release also praised by Creative Loafing Atlanta as a work in which "leanly arranged, tight guitars meld together with deep funk grooves to create a sound that is vaguely familiar yet excitingly new."
Born in Lubbock and raised in Paducah, Spencer’s roots dig deep into Texas soil. By day, Spencer is a superintendent for a commercial construction company. By any other time, he’s songwriter and frontman of Grady Spencer & The Work, which originally formed in 2013 on the stage of Paradox Church in Fort Worth. Drummer Blake Sager was joined by bassist Johnny Hatcher in 2016, followed by guitarist Tyler Martin in 2018, and the Work's music is designed to reflect its members: honest, good-timing, with a nod to blue-collar roots. In 2013, the band recorded and self-produced its first album Sleep which featured Spencer and Trevor Powell on guitar and vocals, Blake Atwell on guitar, Sager on drums, and Josh Brandenburg on bass. The album was the band’s first introduction to the Fort Worth music scene, and after its song "Things to Do” was picked up by the Fort Worth Visitors Bureau via Tom Martens, the city sent Grady Spencer & the Work to Niles City Sound to rerecord and release the track as a single.
The musicians' sophomore record The Line Between, released in 2016, found Spencer’s vocals and guitar once again accompanied by Powell on guitar and Sager on drums, with Steve Moore on bass, producer Ryan Tharp on guitar, and Cody Culberson singing harmonies. This album carried the band beyond Fort Worth's city limits, as a following started to crop up across the state and numbers rose on streaming platforms, catapulting The Work to their 2109 album Celebrate. For this recording, Spencer was joined by Hatcher on bass and vocals, Martin and producer Austin Jenkins on guitar, and Sager on drums, and the album's raves included Texas Music Pickers lauding its "11 songs of smooth grooves, strong songwriting, and flavorful tunes ... that seep into the soul of the listener with each passing play." And Grady Spencer & the Work's laudatory notices have only increased with last year's Wait, which inspired Americana Highways to rave, "The West Texas band has turned in a uniquely strong collection of songs that knit together the Red Dirt music of Oklahoma/Texas with rock and folk, a satisfying hybrid that sticks with you long after the music stops."
Grady Spencer & the Work headline their Davenport engagement on June 1, admission to the 7 p.m. concert is $12, and tickets are available by visiting TheRaccoonMotel.com.