Graham Whorley's New Group Excels Beyond Expectations

Charleston City Paper | November 22, 2005
"I would say the band is as strong as it's ever been -- and we've only been together for three months now," says guitarist Graham Whorley of his latest ensemble. The longtime Charleston performer is best known among locals as the tall-standing, long-bearded, electric blues-rock player who played for years as a solo act and with The Graham Whorley Band (a.k.a. "GWB").

Invigorated with a new backing group under the name "Iridescent Sol," Whorley feels he's playing some of the best music of his career.

"Musically, it's completely different," he says. "It's not better or worse; it has a whole other feel to it. The GWB played so much all the time, we never made time for proper rehearsals and stuff like that. With Iridescent Sol, we do make time to play off stage. We're making new music and putting older music back in another light, very different from what it was originally. GWB was probably more laid back, while this band makes more of a push into new directions. The new players add new aspects to it. It's just a whole new band and feel.

"Sometimes, we'll get fans out who haven't seen me in a while, and they'll go, 'whoa, what's all this about?'" he adds. "We played for over 10 years in this town as GWB. A lot of people are set in their ways, you know? Like, I can understand where Dylan was coming from when he went electric [laughs]. GWB was a full band with acoustic guitar -- strictly -- and it had a certain sound. The new band is a full band with electric guitar and it's a different show -- it's a better show than it was.

Whorley unveiled the beginnings of the new band lineup last spring under the name "The New Deal." Bassist Rusty Cole (replacing Herb "The Experience" Shirey) and keyboardist Daniel Walker -- both of local band The Workshop -- fit right in with Whorley's soulful style of Southern jam-rock. Myrtle Beach-based drummer Lloyd "Bongolloyd" sat in as the new drummer, replacing Bob William. Drummer Brian Ledbetter, also of The Workshop, recently stepped in as the regular timekeeper. The quartet officially became "Iridescent Sol" by mid-summer.

"We've expanded the instrumentation and aim for a more soul-oriented sound -- it's all very much from the heart," says Whorley. "The band's a lot more involved musically and in the business aspects of it -- from the shows and the details of booking to handling CDs and promotion."

The band filled in "last minute" at North Charleston tavern T.J. & Tommy's Guitar Bar & Grill on Aug. 17, 2005 with a live set that ended up on Comcast Channel 2's ongoing live music series. They're currently in the process of assembling songs and recording tracks with Jay Miley at his Charleston Recordings studio. Look for the full band around the South this fall and winter.

Charleston City Paper

Founded in 1997, the locally owned and operated City Paper is Charleston's only weekly alternative newspaper and the second-largest publication in the metro Charleston area. Reaching a strong mix of active, affluent locals and tourists, the City Paper has thrived...
More »
Contact for Reprint Rights
  • Market Served: Metropolitan Area
  • Address: 1316 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403
  • Phone: (843) 577-5304