You can’t be around bluegrass without having heard of the Grascals, but somehow I never managed to pick any of their music. So their fourth and latest CD is a real eye opener for me. This CD follows hard on the heels of last years Keep On Walkin’ (SPBGMA’s Album Of The Year – which I’ll now have to find).
The first song of the new album is ‘Last Train to Clarksville.’ I’m looking at the title and thinking (and hoping!) “No way”! It is indeed a cover of the Monkees hit, something I had hoped I left behind with my childhood.
It takes only a couple of seconds to realize that the Grascal’s have made it a true bluegrass tune, and I think the Monkee’s stole it from them… 🙂
As I was writing the above part of the review I was up to the 5th track on my first listen to the album, and already a confirmed Grascal’s fan!
If you’ve ever had a grandma you just have to give ‘Satan and Grandma” a listen. As a big fan of the mandolin and the fiddle, listening to the interplay at the opening of their instrumental ‘”Blue Rock Slide” brought a huge grin to my face–and of course all the band gets their chance to shine.
“Satan and Grandma”
Just looking at the song list takes you through prison, trains, sawmills, the spouse issue, and some gospel. You would think all this would be cliches by now, but the Grascals either leave you smiling about their take on the songs, thinking about what they have to say, or both. Meanwhile the vocals take you down in the “hollers,” and their great talent on their respective instruments will keep me looking for the chance to see them live.
This album seems to need a really long review (I’ll spare you!) or a short one. My shortest and best recommendation – give it a listen!
The Grascal’s are Terry Eldredge – guitar, Jamie Johnson – guitar, Terry Smith – bass, Danny Roberts – mandolin, Jeremy Abshire – fiddle, and newcomer and award winning banjo player Kristin Scott Benson.