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Artist of the day: Alexander and the Grapes

Alexander and the Grapes packs a sweet and juicy wallop of pop, psychedelic and country. Whether those styles come at you mixed up or distilled with pure directness, there isn’t a bad tune in the bunch.

The college-aged group formed in Dunedin in 2007 and comprises brothers Alexander and Philip Charos, with Alexander on vocals and guitar and Philip on drums. Chase Swan plays guitar and lap steel; newest member Tom Dicks, bass.

At first blush, the vintage-nouveau Grapes might seem a little mellow, something you might slip on in the background, but during recent live performances, the band’s rousing rave-ups have stolen the attention of mingling barflies and unwitting passersby – while opening up for other bands. At one New World around New Year’s, they were kept on the stage for encores, a rare occurrence for any warm-up act.

See these scene stealers in action and hear music from their first, self-released album at their CD release party this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Missio Dei, 2750 Fifth Ave N, St. Petersburg. Helping them celebrate at their St. Pete CD release party will be the funtastic Grecian Urns and Friends of Giants.

Why did it take so long for the well-established local band to put out a CD?

"We have been slowly mixing it and getting the mastering done," Alexander Charos explained. Having enough money to complete it also presented some delays, he said.

They recorded it around a year ago in Boston, at the home of friend Jeremy Mendicino (of the band Pretty and Nice). Mendicino helped mix the six songs they recorded on tape with a bevy of vintage gear.

The result: "It’s got an old, warm sound to it," Charos said.

-- Julie Garisto, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:20pm]


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