Denver’s Grayson County Burn Ban first came together in 2014 after frontman Austen Grafa was on the road with another Colorado band and decided he wanted to combine two of his favorite genres: country and rock’n’roll. Having grown up in Texas, Grafa was inspired by songwriters like Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Terry Allen, and Robert Earl Keen. After teaming up with fellow Denver musicians Nate Wilson, Travis Page, Brian Beer, and Tyler Brewer (Ned Garthe Explosion), GCBB was formed and Grafa began using his influences to craft what is now considered the band’s “campfire country” sound.
This January, GCBB are releasing their debut record, titled Better Neighbor. The title track from the 12-song release is already out with an accompanying music video (see above), and one that is hard for any Denverite not to laugh along with. It details (rather sarcastically) some of the trials of Denver city life, like trying to park in Cap Hill, or the frustration many have faced when finding recyclable beer cans in the trash bin after day-drinking in Cheesman Park. The song’s refrain, “Are you an idiot? Or just an asshole?” will have you laughing as the band members experience other annoyances while venturing around their neighborhood and asking you to be the exact thing the title of their new record suggests.
Today, the band has released their second single and accompanying video for their song “Up Here.”
Animated by artist, Sarah Letteny, the video follows a character slowly climbing up a ladder in black and white while reflecting on the world down below before it falls through a psychedelic-colored sky back to its colorless reality. As the chorus repeats, “I’m higher than I’ve ever been/looking down at this little world I’m in/Everything is making sense/but I don’t know if I should be alone up here,” things like money and cars appear just out of reach of the video’s character before it crashes through the clouds.
Said Grafa about the video, “Sarah did an amazing job bringing our vision to life for this song, which is, as the lyrics state, all about being ‘a little too high,’ where you can see everything going on, but maybe you shouldn’t be so high alone.”
“Up Here” continues GCBB’s “campfire country” sound with Grafa’s rolling, storytelling vocals over guitar before it breaks into a full-band-at-your-favorite-dive-bar slow country jam.
Grayson County Burn make the kind of music you want to crush cans to. Just make sure you recycle those when you're finished.
Keep up with Grayson County Burn Ban here.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.