Greta Van Fleet
Sounds Like: Three brothers and a best friend determined to make rock and blues relevant again
For Fans of: Led Zeppelin II, sibling bands like the Kinks, Viking rock
Why You Should Pay Attention: Their debut single "Highway Tune," a ferocious bit of slashing rock driven by singer Josh Kiszka's Robert Plant wail, is Number One on Mainstream Rock radio. Raised by their father on blues greats like Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf and Elmore James, the brothers Kiszka – Josh, Jake (guitar) and Sam (bass/keys) – recruited drummer Danny Wagner to form Greta Van Fleet, named after a local octogenarian musician in their hometown of Frankenmuth, Michigan. The group's debut EP Black Smoke Rising has made fans of everyone from fellow Michigander Bob Seger and Howard Stern to Alice Cooper and, supposedly, Plant himself. "Someone showed him our stuff and he said, 'That's fuckin badass,'" says Josh. The group is currently on a sold-out U.S. tour.
They Say: "Rock & roll isn't really going on right now and it's something the people need," says Josh, before explaining the group's unique moniker. "We came across 'Gretna Van Fleet' and thought it'd be a cool band name. It sounds Nordic and ambiguous. We changed it to Greta and put it on the marquee of a show we were playing downtown and she and her husband came and sat through the whole set. They're in their early 80s. She used to play the dulcimer."
Hear for Yourself: With a chugging riff, bombastic drums and Josh's rapidfire lyrical delivery, "Highway Tune" is robust proof that classic rock lives. Joseph Hudak