HPMA Showcase Spotlight: The Grievous Angels, "Harmony. Humor. Hell of a Good Time."

In the weeks leading up to the Houston Press Music Awards showcase on Sunday, August 4, Rocks Off will be profiling a handful of performers each day, mostly in their own words - part of the best top-to-bottum lineup the showcase has ever had, in our humble opinion. See the showcase schedule and ticket information at, and watch Twitter (@hprocksoff) every day until the showcase for your chance to win tickets.

HPMA Showcase Spotlight: The Grievous Angels, "Harmony. Humor. Hell of a Good Time."
Photos courtesy of the Grievous Angels

To which member are we speaking? What are you nominated for? You are speaking to Lainey, unofficial press secretary of The Grievous Angels. As a band we are nominated for Best Local Recording (Grievous Angels) and Best Folk/Americana. Within the band, Libby Koch was nominated for Best Songwriter and Local Musician of the Year, and I was nominated for Best Female Vocalist.

Side props also go to Jack Saunders, who produced our record, for a Best Producer Nom and Rankin Peters, who plays bass with us, for Best Bass Player -- even though we don't take credit for their nominations.

Please list all of your regular band members and what instruments they play. The Grievous Angels are Libby Koch (guitar and mandolin); Debbie Forrest (guitar); Lainey Balagia (piano, but not onstage). I'm still trying to figure out how to use the stomp box in 4-inch heels. I'm finding that there is at least a 4-inch learning curve.

Describe your band in four to seven words. Last time we did one of these I said "We will. We will. Rock you." This time, let's go with "Harmony. Humor. Hell of a good time."

Who is your single biggest musical influence and why? We have always been inspired by strong female singer-songwriters. All three of our very distinct writing styles have been shaped by the women who came before us.

It's impossible to pick one for the group, so I'm gonna have to go with the miracle love-child of Patty Griffin, Dolly Parton and Heart. (You've got three really different girls in this band.)

What recordings (if any) do you have readily available? We just released our debut, self-titled record on July 16. It is available locally at Cactus Records, as well as on our Web site, iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. Additionally, we all have solo albums available on iTunes.


HPMA Showcase Spotlight: The Grievous Angels, "Harmony. Humor. Hell of a Good Time."

Have you ever been HPMA-nominated before? When and what for? This is actually our second year in a row to be nominated for Best Americana.

Where and how often do you perform (publicly) around Houston? Over the last 12 months we have played at the Mucky Duck, Blanco's, the Firehouse Saloon, Discovery Green and the Armadillo Palace, just to name a handful. We usually play Houston 8-10 times a year.

What is the next step for your band? Assuming the buzz from this nomination garners us the Grammy nom (and obvious win) we're expecting, I'd say probably going on tour with Beyonce and Jay Z, then having a major motion picture made about our lives starring two girls from Glee and a former American Idol finalist. I haven't really thought about a plan B yet...

Finish this sentence: "Houston music is..." Underrated and overwhelming. Just like Houston.

The Grievous Angels' HPMA showcase spot is 9 p.m. Sunday, August 4, at Ben's Beans, 1302 Dallas. See more about the band at or

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