Chobey Badgio of Gulley. Photo courtesy of Witherspoon
Chobey Badgio of Gulley. Photo courtesy of Witherspoon

2 cups of hard work

4 ounces of frustration

¼ cup of pride

1 cup of drive

Combined with creativity and slowly churned with skill gives you a band’s most tangible form of success: their first full length album.

North Carolina based rock band, Gulley, mixes up the much-awaited “Salem.”

“I’ve been wanting to be on an album since I picked up a guitar when I was 12,” says lead vocalist and guitarist, Chobey Badgio. “I just wanted to go in, have fun and be myself and make as good of music as I could.”

After tossing around ideas for a title, the group agreed on “Salem,” song number nine, deciding you can’t go wrong with a title track –naming an album after a track featured.

The 10-track body of work featuring pianist and former band mate Jordan Connell offers listeners a journey of slow jams with the occasional pop of upbeat melodies.

“It’s a very easy to listen to album because there’s really not a whole lot of instrumentation, which was exactly the goal,” said Nick Badgio, bassist for Gulley.

Chobey’s distinctively robust vocals spill ballads of love relatable to all stages of life.

“The album is more or less 10 songs about Winston,” said Chobey.

Those that aren’t directly about Winston are related to past love interests.

The singer’s emotional ties linger throughout the composition, lending insight to each memorable experience, from stories of torn lovers featuring songstress Catherine Shiemann to songs with messages as simple as “be happy.”

The young vocalist oozes with the possibility of growth as his strong voice maintains a mellow vibe garnished with the skills of Gulley’s drummer and percussionist, Charlie Witherspoon.


The end product results in a festival type energy, making it easy to lose yourself in the lyrics.

Gulley finds balance in each member focusing on different aspects of the music. A harmony heard in each song as the lyrics take you on one journey while the melody and instrumentals lead to another destination.

With high expectations the trio sought to create a relaxed environment during recording to combat production pressures. Their motto: “you always play and listen better when you’re laughing.”

“We were all a little nervous, but once we clicked in with the track and locked in with each other it started to go by quick,” said Charlie.

Although the band kept the laughs going they were well aware of the project’s importance. Gulley began preparing for the album three months in advance before recording at Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium Recordings in Kernersville, N.C. Easter is best known for his work as R.E.M.’s producer.

The Winston Salem locals expect to release “Salem” along with a 12 minute documentary “Camel City Chaos: The making of Salem” at the Triad Music Fest, Friday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m.

Gulley is also set to perform in Charlotte’s Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Friday, Feb. 7 at 10 p.m.

The band welcomes audiences of all interest levels to enjoy the show, guaranteeing the universal language of music will take all on a journey.

Leanna is the current A&E editor for the Niner Times. She is in her senior year at UNC Charlotte pursuing a bachelors in Communication Studies and Journalism minor. Her interests include; diy work, classic films and gangster movies. Contact her at