The Gravel Pit
In 1995, Jed Parish, Lucky Jackson, Ed Valauskas and Pete Caldes came to Boston as The Gravel Pit -- an accomplished young rock band from New Haven, CT, seasoned by a few years of high-energy club gigs and a solid indie debut (Crash Land, on Feralette Records) based on influences like the Clash and the Undertones. Gradually incorporating a range of influences from mod to metal and invested with Parish's extraordinary gifts as a songwriter and singer, the band quickly generated a buzz on the Boston scene. Their early fans included such local pop stars as Kay Hanley and Jen Trynin, whose spirited support helped to bring the Pit to the attention of their Boston-based indie label, Q Division.
Within a year of their arrival in Boston, The Gravel Pit released the first of four Q Division releases. The Gravel Pit Manifesto (with pop-maestro producer Mike Denneen), was a brightly original, power-pop gem that earned them Best Indie Album and Best New Band at the 1996 Boston Music Awards. Their wildly energetic live shows and diverse catalogue of power-pop gems kept the momentum going strong for the next three years. They played hundreds of dates, opened for acts as diverse as Graham Parker, Cheap Trick, Gang of Four and Morphine, and released three more records on Q: 1997's full-length No One Here Gets In For Free -- Rare and Unreleased 1989-1997; the 1998 hit single "Favorite," produced by Denneen; and 1999's full-length Silver Gorilla, also with Denneen, which amassed critical raves across the country, from Raygun to Entertainment Weekly. The Gravel Pit were recently voted Best Band at the 2001 Independent Music Awards.
This is a band that should be huge, that could climb the charts with class. They're an original, intelligent, hard-hitting American rock band, the real thing. They've got a sense of soul and a sense of humor, infectious melodies and thinking-fan's lyrics. Their high-energy live sets are events in showmanship, honed by a decade of playing together. But after their national Silver Gorilla tour, without the big break of a major label deal and commercial exposure, the band decided to tone down their intense live performance schedule and spread out their efforts for a while. Valauskas, Jackson and Caldes formed the Gentlemen, a hugely popular hard-rock act, with Mike Gent of the Figgs. Parish has been exploring the vast and varied terrain of his musical tastes as a solo artist.