After Girlyman’s first gig they earned enough to buy a milkshake. Now they sell out The Barns at Wolftrap, The Old Town School of Folk Music, The Freight and Salvage, and Eddie's Attic. Fans drive hundreds of miles to hear their three-part harmonies. If they live overseas, they make a special trip to America. If they bring friends, the newcomers leave hooked.
The Village Voice calls Girlyman “really good, really unexpected, and really different.” When a rabbinical student writes a prayer based on their music, that’s really unexpected. When a fan tattoos their lyrics on her feet, that’s really different. The band’s blend of acoustic, Americana, and rock winds its way into your life, whether you’re novelist Anne Beattie quoting the song “On the Air,” or characters listening to the band in The Last Lie written by best selling author Stephen White, or college choral groups who perform a capella versions of Girlyman’s songs.
Tylan Greenstein and Doris Muramatsu have known each other since second grade. They grew up playing from the Paul Simon songbook and mimicking their parents’ records from 60s vocal groups like the Mamas and the Papas. At a college talent show they befriended Nate Borofsky, who also grew up trained in classical music. The three shared an apartment in Brooklyn but didn’t play together until a road trip to a music workshop. Singing harmonies in a rented Buick, the band was formed-or as formed as it could be before JJ Jones, drummer at the time for the Canadian band Po’ Girl, joined to complete their sound. Girlyman now teaches at those same kinds of workshops.
The three founding members of the Atlanta-based band handle songwriting duties, penning lyrics about love and loss and memory. But, as Slate magazine wrote “Girlyman doesn’t wallow in such emotions; the band approaches them frankly, capturing, in a story or a surprising metaphor, a feeling you’ve had but never heard so well-expressed.” And sometimes they’re just having fun, as in “My Eyes Get Misty,” a tribute to the Tin Pan Alley songs of the 1950s.
After long opening runs with the Indigo Girls and Dar Williams, awards and critical acclaim, the band set out on their own. Their music spans genres-they play acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, djembe, and electric baritone guitar-but even in large venues their shows are accessible in the coffeehouse style. They handily finish each other’s jokes. Their improvisational harmonies and on-the-spot songs (about everything from the Antipope to the benefit of firing a cannon in a musical composition) have become cult favorites.
The playful approach to music and touring was born after the band’s first rehearsal, scheduled for September 11, 2001. It was postponed, but the events of that day set the course for the future: “We decided to just have fun,” explains Nate, “and not take ourselves too seriously. We started by naming our new band Girlyman.”
After four well-received albums, they self-produced their latest effort, Everything’s Easy, with a single, ten thousand dollar microphone – financed entirely by fan donations. They are currently recording their fifth studio album. Most recently, Girlyman has been collaborating with comedian Margaret Cho, co-writing songs for her upcoming CD. She also produced their first music video for the song “Young James Dean.” Of Girlyman, Cho says, “It’s the music of my heart and soul. Girlyman is the future and the past and the present.”
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