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Music | Interview: August Wells


August Wells is a musical project created by Ken Griffin and John Rauchenberger in New York. Griffin, the former creative mind behind groups Rollerskate Skinny, Kid Silver, and more, now takes on the task of the forthcoming album due this September with fellow band member, John Rauchenberger.

Their music has been described as “Sinatra singing Lou Reed songs” and “The secret marriage of Willy Nelson and Lee Hazlewood” despite the critical acclaim, August Wells’ Ken Griffin spoke to me about not intending to be influenced by anyone else, trusting yourself, and what is next for the duo.

2016 is shaping to be busy year for August Wells. The band was Euro bound in June for shows and are currently preparing for a string of Irish dates in Kilkenny, Dublin and the 10 year celebration of Knockanstockan this Weekend. Their second album “Madness Is the Mercy” will see the pair team up with Eddie Kiely from Cork based independent label FIFA Records, a combination that seems to have longevity and trust instilled; “If you live long enough, you start to trust the poetry of your own actual experience.”

Supporting Glen Hansard in New York and an appearance on Other Voices has also given them the opportunity to be honest and linear in their songwriting. But where does a name like August Wells come from you might ask? The answer seems to be as honest as their songwriting, “One day I will come up with an interesting lie, but I just made it up, it helps me for some reason to have a name to work under. Ironically it allows me to be more honest.

“I am not consciously influenced by anyone, just some guiding principles of a believable voice I sense in what I feel is greatness in any art form or human skill.” he adds on the topic of influences, “John played piano a couple of times with Favourite Sons, I loved his playing so we did some songs as a two piece, and it had a sound that intrigued me.”

The show at The Workman’s is set to be August Wells’ last in the Capital for a while. “The new album comes out in September so we hope to tour a lot in October”, with both that show and Knockanstockan performing with a 5-piece band, Ken says it is one they are looking forward to.

August Wells play The Workman’s Club, Dublin on 23 July.  Tickets €12 available from