The Gretchen Emery Band: One small-town girl with a big voice, one failed government experiment from North Philly flailing away on guitar, and two unsuspecting dudes on bass and drums holding it all together, giving the GEB a foundation for blending soul, rock & blues into their original songs - so whether you’re in the mood to think, feel, dance or just escape, GEB will get you there- just be sure to hold on tight for a dynamite show! The GEB is backed by stellar musicians Randy Waters, Mike Leger, as well as several ridiculously talented studio players and producer dynamite-o Derek Chafin.
But don’t trust this description… come see the Gretchen Emery Band live
or listen to their latest EP and decide for yourselves.
Our EP "If Love Were Enough" dropped July 9, 2022...we are now BACK in the studio working on the next album and we appreciate all donations!!
Gretchen Emery Band's long-awaited EP "If Love Were Enough" dropped on July 9, 2022. This 4-song EP from a|i|r records includes themes of love, loss, longing and hope. While husband and guitaritst Kenny Windle laid down the musical foundation for Gretchen's lyrics and melodies, the flavor of each song evolved thanks to the contributions of the very talented and seasoned musicians who worked on this project: long-time friend and killer bass player Randy Waters, drummer extraordinaire Erik Johnson (studio), the one-and-only Mike Leger on drums (live shows), Kenny Kearns (Hammond B3 and Wurlitzer organs), Jay Davidson (Tenor and Bari Saxes), Steve Jankowski (Trumpet), and Valerie Vuolo (Violin and Viola). Additionally, the final product could not have reached its super cool complete state without the incredible vision and ridiculous skill from producer & recording mastermind Derek Chafin at BarnSound Studio, and mastering guru Peter Humphries at Masterwork Recording, Inc.
WANNA HELP FUND THIS AND FUTURE RECORDINGS? We've Got More Songs in the pipeline for the next project!! PLEASE visit our GoFundMe site at:
GEB Full History - Versions May Vary - Truth Is Elusive
The Gretchen Emery Band grew out of a partnership that began years ago between singer Gretchen Emery and guitarist Kenny Windle. The world may never know what cosmic lineup caused this unlikely pair to meet, start a rock band and eventually tie the knot, but to get a sense of just how extraordinary this pairing is, imagine this….a young , bouncy Gretchen with curly red hair, singing at the top of her lungs in church with her family in Dover, DE, following the rules, learning to play the flute, getting good grades, blah, blah, blah…. Contrast that with Kenny being deposited on Earth by an alien craft in the early 1950’s, developing keen survival skills in North Philly, breaking the rules, and eventually focusing all of his energies on playing guitar.
Gretchen and Kenny. Two opposites. Compelled to write, sing, and play - together.
Strange? Yes…but somehow, it just works.
It’s hard to say why Gretchen sings with the power, energy, and soulfulness that she does (her looks may fool you, but just watch her perform and you might agree that perhaps being dropped on her head as an infant had its benefits!) Kenny’s unique use of rhythm and melody, inspired by the Motown he grew up on, creates the canvas upon which Gretchen tells a story in each original song. Despite their wildly different backgrounds, Gretchen and Kenny are each equally moved by their observations of love, loss, injustice, and redemption in life, all of which play out in their music and lyrics. While their songwriting is flavored by soul and rock, with elements of the blues winding through each piece, their goal is to allow each song to evolve as it will, without trying to suit a particular genre.
Though it may not have been a predictable match, the distinct musical skills which they each contribute, seem to complement and support the other, resulting in artfully crafted music that "got" just right. Together, Gretchen and Kenny have found contentment in writing and playing, whether as a duo or full electric band, and they hope that those who listen will be moved to feel, to think, to dance, or to simply escape.
In addition to a multitude of phenomenal local musicians, Gretchen has had the honor of performing with Hubert Sumlin, Lowrider Band, Johnny Neel, Michael Hill's Blues Mob, Victor Wainwright, and Sam Cockrell. Kenny has been fortunate to play with many notable musicians (and non-musicians) too numerous to mention (a strange but fortunate consequence of Kenny having been the object of a failed government experiment. Just ask - you might catch him on a day when all of his brain cells are working together well enough to recall a few stories - but be careful what you wish for - swim at your own risk!).
Gretchen and Kenny have performed several times at the Wilmington Riverfront Blues Festival,
Delaware's Annual June Jam, and the Fort Hunter Music and Wine Festival.
In 2013, Gretchen and Kenny's band Dirty Boots earned a spot to compete at the International Blues Challenge, Memphis, TN, and subsequently were inducted into the Delaware Blues Hall of Fame
Kenny Windle has spent over 40 years playing guitar in bands and committing himself to the eternal quest for "tone". His guitar style, passionate and soulful, is undeniably palpable and emblematic of his North Philly roots. He spent many years touring the east coast with bands Yawa, Red House, Sixteen, & Cherry. He recorded with The Rave through Star Productions, and gained label interest from Philly International with the funk/punk/soul laced Spankeyalbo.
Kenny has spent the past 20 years backing and promoting Gretchen Emery in bands and acoustic duo projects. He was inducted into the DE Blues Hall of Fame with Gretchen Emery and Dirty Boots in 2013. When not busy rehearsing or breaking in a new amplifier, his waking hours are consumed by laundry and dedicated reflection on quantum physics.
Randy has been a bassist for 40 years playing in both original and cover bands in Delaware and Philadelphia. His bands have opened up for such national and regional acts as: AWB, The Roots, Gnarls Barkley, Esperanza Spaulding, George Lynch(Lynch Mob, Dokken), Adler's Appetite(GnR original drummer Steven Adler), Howe II(Greg Howe), Jaguar Wright,Third World, Boy Sets Fire, PM Dawn, Mike Pinto, Matisyahu, Ky-Mani Marlley, Mykal Rose (Black Uhuru) and Dumpstaphunk. Recently, Randy has enjoyed playing in both cover and original acoustic duos, trios and quartets. In 2013, 2016 and 2017, he was nominated for 93.7 WSTW's Hometown Heroes' "Best Bassist" award. Over the years we has also worked as a backline technician/roadie for members of P-Funk and Schooly-D.
Hard-hitting like a Canadian lumberjack, drummer & percussionist Mike Leger is no stranger to live shows and studio work having played with both cover bands and original acts in the DE, PA, NJ area, including Teretta Storm and Nitro Nitra. Worthy of a much longer bio (which one day may appear!), take heart dear readers, and trust us when we tell you that what you cannot read you will FEEL when Leger sits behind the kit and does what he does best, bringing power to the heartbeat of the Gretchen Emery Band!
Frank Donato (a.k.a. "Frankie Four Fingers") was found aimlessly meandering outside the GEB rehearsal studio (no doubt looking for a fifth finger)...and well...we gave him a keyboard to keep him occupied and the rest, as they say, is history. In addition to playing with the GEB, Frank is a founding member of Hippocampus, and has played with numerous acts including Xtra Altra and many more.