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The Gentlemen, made up of singer-guitarist Mike Gent of the Figgs, guitarist-vocalist Lucky Jackson, bassist-vocalist Ed Valauskas, and drummer Pete Caldes of Gravel Pit, wield a hard rock assault that swings from the muscular pop/rock of '70s Graham Parker and Elvis Costello to rollicking Faces barroom fare. At times, they come off like a less boozy the Replacements — and, while the group's dominant mode is raucous fun, make no mistake: the riffs are screwed down tight.
In the spring of 1999, Mike Gent served as road manager and opening act for the Gravel Pit's western U.S. tour. He would often guest during the Pit's set, and the seeds of a side-project were sown. After the four musicians came together as the Gentlemen and set their New England/New York turf on fire with their blistering, energetic live shows, they decided to legitimize the collaboration with a full-length album. The group's debut, Ladies and Gentlemen...the Gentlemen, released in 2000 on Hearbox Records, was recorded live in the studio over a four-day period at Q-Division in Boston and then mixed in 22 straight hours at Fort Apache in Cambridge, MA. The 12-track album features nine songs by Gent and the songwriting debuts of Jackson and Valauskas.