The Galt Line: Getting down and dance-y

The Galt Line, an eclectic duo based in Washington D.C., will bring their music to Goshen and perform at The Electric Brew Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. The band consists of musicians Blythe Crawford and Willie Gammell, who provide tunes to get audiences on their feet.

“To us, performing is about throwing a party that everyone in the room is invited to,” Crawford said. “We don’t care too much about moving your emotions or getting you to think. We just want people to get all sweaty and dance-y.”

The Galt Line began playing ukelele and guitar in 2008, when Crawford and Gammell lived in Brooklyn, N.Y. and started what Crawford calls “a misguided attempt to make extra money.” Their name is a reference to a railroad in the novel “Atlas Shrugged” that was built during a time of perilous odds.

The Galt Line nows travels all over the U.S., performing in bars and coffee shops. Crawford sings vocals and plays ukelele and bottle caps, while Gammell plays guitar. They have released two CDs, “The Galt Line” and, most recently, “Skin of Our Teeth.” They found out about the Brew from the band Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray, whom they play with in D.C.

“Our music is American dance music blended with post-rock-and-roll energy,” said Crawford. “You’ll hear  elements of swing, R&B, hot jazz, honky tonk, western swing, and rockabilly. Whatever people have danced to, we’ll play.”

The Galt Line’s songs have busy lyrics, which are constructed so that the musicians have something to sing. The lyrics often describe a short story or image that goes along with the music they’ve written, but The Galt Line says they are never trying to deliver a message or talk about their feelings.

“Truthfully, our tunes are more like those early rock tunes and R&B pop tunes like DooWaDitty, or Ooby Dooby,” said Crawford. “Notable exceptions are Curtis Turner, which is a story about a bootlegger turned race car driver, and Helen Morgan, a story about an old torch singer who pathetically drank herself to death. These are two true stories that we told because they captured our imaginations for a moment.”

When not performing, both Crawford and Gammell work at The Pritchard Music Academy, a small music school in suburban Maryland. The Galt Line says they have no plans of attempting to strike it big anytime soon – they just want to play.

“We just want to be a working band, which is slowly approaching on the horizon,” said Crawford. “No grand dreams about big record contracts or shows for thousands. Just bars and festivals and dirty rock clubs full of people looking for a good time.”

–By Kate Stoltzfus

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Written by Grace Parker

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