The Grass Routes of Kingwhistler

Bruce Von Stiers

There is this band named Kingwhistler. The band's styling has a mixture of rock, folk and country. Somewhere down the line, their music was given the tag of “California Country.” It has been said that the music of the band evokes memories of Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Eagles. They have played across the U.S. but mostly have played in SoCal clubs such as The Viper Room, Molly Malone's and El Cid.

Kingwhistler put together an album and released it not quite a year ago. The album is titled Grass Routes. It has ten songs and a play time of about forty minutes.

Nick Aliberti is the frontman for the band. He does the lead vocals and plays guitar and piano. Greg Morrison is on lead guitar. Johnny O' Neil is on bass. Evan A. Ryan is the drummer and percussionist. Ben Perry does vocals and plays various instruments. Although she doesn't appear on the album, vocalist Ashlee Williss has been singing and touring with the band.

Oath is the first song. It kind of reminded me of some of the 70's country rock styling of say Commander Cody or Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It has a toe tapping beat and pretty decent vocals.

Moving into more of a country blues mode is Hit The Road. There is a lot of cool steel guitar music at first. Nick does really well with the lead vocals and there are nice backing vocals as well.

Tree Of Knowledge has a definite country flavor with just a touch of light rock.

Fast paced, Darkness has nice vocals and guitar. Again I was reminded of ‘70's style country rock music.

Find A Way is a soft and gentle ballad. A little bluesy, it could have been an Elvin Bishop song.

Subtle, bluesy rock music can be found in Red Room.

Humble Strums is a nice folk flavored song. Another folk styled song with a touch of country is Cloverdale.

Time is a mild, country flavored sad ballad.

70's blues and country rock is what the song that closes the album sounds like. The song is Sun Shine Slow Down. Listening to it made me think of the Allman Brothers. The song had some very, very cool guitar.

The digital download I received for Grass Routes included a song that wasn't listed as being on the album. The title of the song is Whistlin' King. It was classic folk with a bit that sounded a lot like Buddy Holly's Don't Fade Away.

I tried to pin down what kind of styling to call the music of Kingwhistler. Country rock? Folk flavored rock? Rock tinted with country and folk? I ended up thinking their music was a combination of all of those styles. The band has a sound that is definitely hard to place in just one category. And that in itself is a good thing. By doing their own thing, Kingwhistler has a sound that is fairly unique.

I really liked the Grass Routes album. With the right exposure, Kingwhistler just might be one of those bands who upcoming artists will be compared to.

Grass Routes is available on iTunes and through the band's web site. You can find the site at

You can also find the band on Facebook at

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© 2015 Bruce E Von Stiers