Pin It

Guts 'N Teeth 

A smattering of punk rockers start pickin’ and grinnin'.

click to enlarge Joey Garibaldi (far left) and Old Man Markley
  • Joey Garibaldi (far left) and Old Man Markley

Men with neon-colored mohawks were doing do-si-dos on the dance floor. A man with a homemade washtub bass stage-dove into the crowd. And when it was all over, the bar was out of beer.

The spectacle? An 11-piece bluegrass band called Old Man Markley — complete with red, white and blue striped acoustic guitars — was playing a sold-out show in 2008 with legendary punk bands Guttermouth and Youth Brigade. And the punks were loving it.

“People didn’t really know what to do or how to react to us,” says Joey Garibaldi, bass player for Old Man Markley. “We hadn’t really played a show before, and it was like dating someone for six months and then finally taking it into the bedroom.”

The band call themselves punk-bluegrass. They formed one night in 2007 when a banjo, piano, autoharp and mandolin found themselves in the right set of hands, under the right level of intoxication.

Since then, the band has signed a record deal with Fat Wreck Chords and shared the stage with such legendary acts as NOFX, Flogging Molly and Bad Religion. Their line-up includes a combination of punks from the L.A. scene and folkies from the San Fernando Valley.

“I would say it’s a pretty even balance of musicians,” Garibaldi says. But he’s quick to point out that this band isn’t a traditional bluegrass band – not like Bill Monroe, the founder of bluegrass music.

“There’s a very fine line between bluegrass and punk,” he says. “Traditional bluegrass is very specific … and we’re not that. If we played with a regular bass, distorted guitar and drums, it would be very much like punk rock.”

Their efforts led to the release of their 2011 debut album, Guts ’N Teeth. More Americana than old-timey, the tracks are polished, with restrained string accompaniment on the banjo, fiddle and mandolin. Johnny Carey is a charismatic front-man and former punk singer who has sucked on throat lozenges long enough to make his voice tawny-smooth but still a little tattered around the edges.

“We’re still figuring it all out as we go,” Garibaldi says.

“When we’re arranging music with the full band, it’s fun to build so many different sounds on top of everything.”

Today the band is riding on the momentum of their album and insistently touring in a converted Seattle City transit bus. Garibaldi describes their concerts as a rowdy, ass-kicking good time for people with dancing shoes and drinking mouths.

“I guess I like the idea that we’re not really bluegrass and not really punk,” he says. “There’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s just music.”

Old Man Markley plays with Cooper McBean, Whiskey Dick Mountain • Mon, March 21, at 9 pm • Aclub • $5 • 21 • • 624-3629


  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Meet 
the Sun
  • Meet the Sun

    Karrie O'Neill is finally ready to take her music full time, complete with a brand-new album and upcoming tour
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Party like it's 1975
  • Party like it's 1975

    The latest British pop sensation invades Spokane
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Act Naturally
  • Act Naturally

    After a brain tumor, one local man's recovery was aided by listening to classic rock. This weekend, he gets to meet Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band
    • Oct 13, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
RiffTrax Live: Carnival of Souls

RiffTrax Live: Carnival of Souls @ Regal Cinemas

Thu., Oct. 27 and Mon., Oct. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Jordy Byrd

  • Halloween City
  • Halloween City

    Marijuana-inspired costumes for stoners
    • Oct 22, 2015
  • Farm to Pipe
  • Farm to Pipe

    Locals Canna House opens in Spokane Valley
    • Oct 1, 2015
  • Social High
  • Social High

    A Spokane company launches a new cannabis-focused social media platform
    • Sep 24, 2015
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Kids Aren't Alright

    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children can't quite strike the balance between whimsy and darkness
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

indigo girls

spokane symphony

Readers also liked…

  • Loosen Up
  • Loosen Up

    A songwriting game helped the Helio Sequence relax on their latest record
    • May 5, 2016
  • All Man
  • All Man

    Gregg Allman has experienced much turmoil, but he perseveres with his mix of blues, rock and country
    • Jun 24, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation