Our Story

Gruft&NewK is, in essence, James Gruft and John Newcott. James lives in Chicagoland and John lives in Jersey City. Their sound is Contemporary Rock/Pop, deeply influenced by the seminal works of the 1960's and 70's  artists: The Band; Dylan; The Beach Boys; Crosby, Stills, & Nash; The Doors; Simon & Garfunkel; Traffic; Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel and others. The essence of their sound is built around their songwriting and unique vocal interplay accompanied by Gruft's keyboard work and NewK's acoustic and electric rhythm guitar. Gruft & NewK started as a duet but now operate as a full rock quartet: bass, drums, guitar, keyboards. They recently recorded a demo with this configuration, THE END OF 2.
Gruft & NewK have been working together for the last 3 or 4 years despite living 800 miles apart, but it wasn't always that way. James and John met and sang in high school and played in a couple of bands together in nyc before circumstances took them on separate paths. If it wasn't for their high school social worker maintaining contact with the two of them, they might not have found each other again!

What impresses everyone who hears them is their interweaving vocals, a mix of intriguing harmonic and contrapuntal lines that combine elements of classical and jazz music along with a classic rock & roll sound. Having released their first debut album as Gruft & NewK - NO ONE WANTS TO FORGET. Their EP- THE END OF 2 features their tunes in a standard Rock Quartet lineup. Gruft & NewK's collaboration ended in 2015.