Artist Profile: Gertrude’s Hearse

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in The Haps


The month of October was a busy one for Vertigo Productions and we were delighted to work with the guys that put the “fun” in funeral – Gertrude’s Hearse wrapped production for their new full length, all-original album KnotWörst shortly before Halloween. Hailing from La Conner in northwestern Washington State, Gertrude’s Hearse has been shaking up honky-rock folkgrass since 2005, when founding “undertakers” Stephen Starr (bass) and Raymond John (guitar) teamed up with Yusuf Kilgore, Matt Clausen, Keith Stone, and lineup of other talented players to produce their unique brand of Americana.

The diverse musical backgrounds of Gertrude’s Hearse lend to their distinctive sound, which is grounded in alternative country, blues, and folk rock, but also includes an alchemical infusion of punk, R&B, and bluegrass. Gertrude’s Hearse’s signature style is small town storytelling at its best, sharing snippets of love lost (“Jealous Hearts & Broken Lovers”; “River”), nostalgia (“Coming Home”), and down-home livin’ (“Skagit River Valley”; “Smokey Hollow”). Much of the band’s set list is comprised of an elaborate 7+ piece grandstand-style band, while a smaller number of songs feature pared-down and intimate acoustic pieces starring duos or trios of performers.

Highly sought after as a live band, Gertrude’s Hearse’s dynamism injects irresistible energy into each performance they give. Well known for stirring interpretations of select “preservation” songs and obscure covers, the majority of their original songs employ the simplicity and honesty of country lyricism with the raucous guitar-driven melodies of rural blues, solidifying Gertrude’s Hearse’s reputation as a band to be enjoyed both on the dance floor at live shows and in the comfort of your own living room.

KnotWörst in particular encapsulates the salt of the earth-style honky tonk that fans of Gertrude’s Hearse know and love. A dark followup to 2007’s Wörst album, KnotWörst explores different facets of everyday life such as jealousy, melancholy, whimsicality and camaraderie that envelop the listener in moonshine-soaked melody, while the momentum of unrelenting rhythm keeps you toe-tapping and humming along. As a measurement of development and progression as songwriters and musicians, Gertrude’s Hearse’s KnotWörst resonates with musical integrity and love for the Americana genre. As an album, KnotWörst is the band’s finest work to date, and promises to be just as fun listening live as on the stereo.


For more information about Gertrude’s Hearse, including upcoming shows and discography, visit their website ( or Facebook page ( They’re also working on putting together a tour, so if you want Gertrude’s Hearse to roll into your town, please visit their Kickstarter page ( and help them achieve their goal!

To keep up with Vertigo  Productions, visit our website (, like us on Facebook (, or follow us on Twitter (


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