Earl C. Whitehead's band, the Grievous Angels, may borrow their moniker from the title of an album by country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons -- but they draw their influence from the three-chord, roots-rock riot of early '80s groups such as the Blasters, Rank and File and the Long Ryders. The group's origins go back to Los Angeles, where Whitehead met some future members of the Grievous Angels. Disenchanted with that city's music scene, they relocated to the desert sands of Tempe, Arizona in 1991 and decided to start a honky-tonk band, not realizing that many would-be punkers would be turning to country in the imminent alt-country explosion of the early to mid-'90s. (In fact, Earle C. Whitehead & the Grievous Angels turned up in the first issue of No Depression magazine.) Spurring on the group's rocked-up twang is guitarist Dan Henzerling and pedal steel player Jon Rauhouse (who went on to record with the Old 97s, Neko Case, Kelly Hogan, Sally Timms and Calexico). The group released the album Angels & Inbreds in 1995. The effort New City of Sin followed, while their third Bloodshot Records release, Miles on the Rail, arrived in 1998.
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