No Depression Magazine review

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FEBRUARY 1, 2016

“I know a boy who/Stays in his bed/Says he’d much rather/The life in his head” were the first lines of “Come Away From The Silence”, off the upcoming album by August Wells. It was breaking through the chat in a Waterford pub on a dull winter night, and had that  very specific August Wells’ feel to it – honed from the crooned baritone of Ken Griffin’s charmed well of a voice, and the understated keyboard foundation of John Rauchenberger. This live version also carried a vague Irish air to it, a swaying stroke of Griffin’s guitar that buoyed it off-stage.

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Superb August Wells to showcase their songwriting skills


The superb August Wells make a welcome return to Galway with a free show in Róisín Dubh next Thursday, January 28. The project is the brainchild of Ken Griffin and John Rauchenberger, both based in New York.

Griffin is a former member of Irish indie legends Rollerskate Skinny, whose 1996 single Speed To My Side remains a classic.

An August Wells record, will feature a saxophone player, a violinist and a French horn player. But the core of the band is the partnership between Ken and John Rauchenberger, whose style has been described as ‘Sinatra singing Lou Reed songs’. How did the pair meet?

“I met him through a circle of friends,” Ken says. “We were all walking home and he wanted us to show us his house. There was a piano there – I’d known him for two years and didn’t even know he could play!

“He sat down and started playing for a minute, and I thought ‘that’s interesting. Those weren’t very predictable notes’. So I suggested ‘why don’t we just get together and play?’ He lives a hundred yards from me!”

The collaboration has resulted in some fine songs that have a melancholic, Nick Cave feel to them.  August Wells recently opened for Glen Hansard for some of his tour dates, and their work will appeal to anyone interested in the craft of songwriting. Unmissable. Doors for their show are at 9pm.

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Festival and Gig Guide review


2016 breezes in with a chorus of brass, strings and shuffling guitar as the first bars of August Wells’ ‘A Little Too Real’ permeate the January air. Ken Griffin’s baritone returns with the New Yorkers first release of the new year and a taster of their new album ‘Madness Is the Mercy’ due out later this Spring on FIFA Records.

‘A Little Too Real’ is a sensitive ode to those who feel the world can be a daunting place. August Wells emotive first singles ‘Here in the Wild’ and ‘Come on in out of that night’ set the tone and tempo for a band writing and exploring music that rolls in like dusk; warm yet tragic, inclusive while conveying the outsider.

August Wells finished on a high note, supporting Glen Hansard at a sold out show at New York’s Beacon Theatre, before they return to Ireland and Europe at the end of January for a number of dates. Ken Griffin (ex-Rollerskate Skinny, Favourite Sons) and pianist John Rauchenberger have met in the middle of differing musical pasts to form a band who would sit easily at the same table as Scott Walker or John Cale.

‘A Little Too Real’ eases us into a new year full of promise for August Wells and is a tantalising hook for their imminent long player.