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Raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Graham Whorley packed up his guitar, his dog, Leeroy, and a trash bag full of clothes 15 years ago to make his way onto Folly Beach, SC and into the Charleston music scene. Since then, Graham Whorley has quickly become a household name, drawing comparisons to Keller Williams, Warren Haynes, and Tim Reynolds for his tireless, family-man work ethic, jaw-dropping finger stylings on the guitar and genial Southern charm. “If you follow the music scene, then it is almost impossible not to have heard of Graham Whorley at some point. The Virginia transplant performs more than 250 shows a year, either with a band or as a solo acoustic artist, and his guitar virtuosity is well-known even outside the confines of the Lowcountry,” says Devon Grant of The Post & Courier.
Whether performing solo, or with his three-piece band, The Graham Whorley Band (Jake Holwegner on bass, Karl Anderson on drums,) Graham Whorley is constantly finding new ways to deliver world music that defies categorization under the blanket of rock, jazz, classical, and funk guitar built on seamless layers of harmonies and driven tribal beats. All of it, created live on stage. “A master with a loop pedal, he's able to blend percussive acoustic rhythms with building, exploratory leads, creating a fusion that's difficult to sit still to,” says Stratton Lawrence of The Charleston City Paper.
Graham’s insightful and thought provoking songwriting touches on universal themes of life, love, and those hard-knock lessons learned along the way, something we all can relate to. Equally comfortable unplugged as with his array of pedals, beat machines, and sound effects, “Whorley creates an impressive range of string, percussion, and vocal affects. At his most ambitious, his layering guitar and vocal parts sound like a full trio at work,” says music editor, T. Ballard Lesemann of The Charleston City Paper. Whorley seems to effortlessly connect with his listeners and leaves a deep and lasting impression, leaving fans waiting for more. “Wherever he goes, he has a following,” says The Georgetown Times.
With the December 2011 release of his sixth independently produced album, “Permission to Think,” and a new 30-minute documentary of the same name, produced by MPA Productions, now streaming on YouTube, Graham Whorley is poised to make an indelible mark on the national scene. The new 14-track album challenges us to consider ways that break down walls, perceptions, and illusions that stop us from reaching our true potential. Throughout, Whorley speaks from experience. “It’s the best stuff I have ever done,” says the songwriter, who took on the daunting task of composing all of the music, writing all the lyrics and playing all of the instruments on the new 14-track release while his band underwent a transformation due to scheduling conflicts with the former GWB members. Whorley spent the last two years crafting the album with engineer Roger Reynolds who recently followed Graham down to Charleston from the foothills of Virginia.
The Graham Whorley Band is currently gathering their gear and is primed for their 2012, “Permission to Think” tour to promote Whorley’s new album throughout the Southeast with scheduled tour dates in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.
Graham Whorley and his band have shared the stage over the last several years with Tim Reynolds, Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root, New Riders of The Purple Sage, Lee Oskar of WAR, Members of The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Colonel Bruce Hampton, Brock Butler, Delbert McClinton, and most recently Whorley opened and closed the evening for Keller Williams at The Charleston Pour House.
Graham Whorley Links:
Graham Whorley’s “Permission To Think” (The Documentary): http://youtu.be/1oETlvtvG-8