Graveyard didn't emerge without the band suffering its fair share of mishaps, though. First, it underestimated recording and mixing time, delaying a projected release date of February. Enger, guitarist/xylophonist/percussionst Tomko, keyboardist/vocalist/trumpeter Steve Kozel and bassist Eric Herbst were also mugged at gunpoint in D.C. during the recording session. Later, when Enger flew back to the studio to oversee mixing, Clark developed heart problems during the process. Enger says, "We had a couple of moments where I was like, Oh my God. He was telling me to write down directions to the hospital just in case.

"The only way [the record] got done was patience and people believing in the same thing and trying to achieve the same goal together," Enger continues. "That doesn't mean we weren't frustrated, but it had more to do with strange circumstances than it had to do with actual people for the most part. It was just kind of like trying to keep the eyes on the prize."

And the hard work is starting to pay off. Although Gentleman Auction House had van and trailer troubles on a recent East Coast jaunt — think tow trucks — the group has had plenty of positive feedback as well. The influential Web site Daytrotter aired a video of one of its concerts, and the band will be playing the music festival DFest in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in late July.

Gentleman Auction House: Learning their ABCS.
Gentleman Auction House: Learning their ABCS.

Thankfully, through these ups and downs, the camaraderie between the seven of them keeps things steady.

"We're all friends, but we're definitely a family in the sense that we love each other and fight," Enger says. "We have great times but we also get cranky. It'd be a lie to say we didn't, and it'd be impossible not to. [But] I'm a pretty big believer in communication. That's not always easy with seven people, but the more you try to communicate, the better off you'll be."

9 p.m. Saturday, July 5. The Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street. $8. No phone.

Follow Gentleman Auction House on its recent tour at the RFT music blog, A to Z, where GAH's Steve Kozel has submitted his tour journal.

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