Girls Guns and Glory owe versatility to more than good luck

Girls Guns and Glory returns to Centre County with a performance at Bellefonte’s Gamble Mill.
Girls Guns and Glory returns to Centre County with a performance at Bellefonte’s Gamble Mill. Photo provided

It may come as a surprise that Boston’s top music export these days is more Southern twang than Yankee slang, but it’s true. Fresh off the release of their fifth album, “Good Luck,” New England country-rockers Girls Guns and Glory are wicked hot right now.

The quartet, which nabbed band of the year honors at the Boston Music Awards and was named independent artist of the year at the French Association of Country Music awards show, returns to Centre County this weekend.

Influenced by greats from Johnny Cash and Hank Williams to Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, Girls Guns and Glory plays what lead singer Ward Hayden simply calls “American music.”

“(Our sound) runs the gambit of American music,” Hayden said. “It’s a blend of a lot of forms of American music, like traditional country, Western swing, early rock ’n’ roll, rockabilly.”

“Good Luck,” which took two years to write and just six days to record, is a testament to the band’s versatility. Released in February, the album features 10 mostly upbeat tracks that maintain a strong country influence while flirting with swing and be-bop.

The band features Hayden on vocals and guitar, Paul Dilley on electric and upright bass/piano, Josh Kiggans on drums/percussion and Chris Hersch on lead guitar/banjo. While all four hail from Boston, Dilley and Hersch have roots in eastern Pennsylvania.

Girls Guns and Glory played previously in State College and Millheim, but this weekend will mark the band’s first stop in Bellefonte. Though their studio work has garnered praise, it’s more than four years of steady touring — nationally and internationally — that’s lifted the band to the brink of stardom.

“Recorded music is great,” Hayden said, “but live music is a whole other beast. It’s more fun, more lively and spirited.”