The Grascals announce upcoming album 20 Years

Article Contributed by Mountain Home … | Published on Tuesday, July 2, 2024

“When the Grascals started in 2004 I really never dreamed that we would still be going strong 20 years later,” confesses founding member Danny Roberts, “but here we are!” Thus the title of the bluegrass sextet’s new album for Mountain Home Music Company, now available for pre-save/add ahead of its August 23 release: 20. And indeed, the collection serves to tie past, present and future neatly together, offering a recap of the group’s earliest days — complete with the return of another founder, singer/guitarist Jamie Johnson — alongside current and recent hits, and a few twists that show the Grascals have new, creative chapters yet to write in their ongoing story.

Among the former are 20’s lead-off track, “Tennessee Hound Dog,” and “Georgia Pineywoods,” two Felice and Boudleaux Bryant-penned Osborne Brothers classics — a third remaining founder, singer/bassist Terry Smith is an alumnus of the Brothers’ band, and the group was often joined at early Station Inn appearances by Bobby Osborne — as well as a pair of ballads, “The First Step” and “Jenny,” that feature lush trio vocals throughout. Johnson’s “I Go,” written with Darren Nicholson, and “Pull The Trigger,” written with Shawn Camp, fall into the already-hits category alongside another Nicholson-contributed number, the John Bryan-led “Just Let Me Know.” Ringing new changes on the group’s well-established sound are the instrumental “12th & Pine,” co-authored by mandolinist Roberts and teen phenom Wyatt Ellis, the contemporary flavor of “Reflection” — written by Johnson, sung by Bryan — and a masterful take on Stephen McWhirter’s “Come Jesus Come” that providentially was recorded before the recent cover from gospel sensation CeCe Winans. There’s even a bluesy vocal contribution from new fiddler Jamie Harper, who takes on a “deep catalog,” typically whimsical selection from Country Hall of Famer Roger Miller.

Throughout, the polish of the vocal trio — Bryan, Johnson and Smith — that forms one of the two pillars of the Grascals’ sound is perfectly matched by the other foundation: quietly brilliant solos and ensemble instrumental work from Roberts, Harper and award-winning banjoist Kristin Scott Benson.  Put together, the two aspects form an undeniable one-two punch that’s kept the Grascals among the genre’s most widely popular acts.

“We were friends that decided to put a band together to play music that we all liked and enjoyed — with no big agenda —  just to do what we wanted to do,” recalls Roberts. “However, things changed really quickly and we found ourselves on an arena tour with Dolly Parton opening for her and playing in her band as well as recording with her. We had a tour with Hank Williams Jr. that included Jamey Johnson and Eric Church, we did several appearances with Dierks Bentley, opened for Brooks & Dunn, Charlie Daniels, John Prine, Kenny Rogers and more and recorded with Vince Gill, George Jones, Tom T. Hall, the Oak Ridge Boys, Steve Wariner, and many more.

“We’ve played for two U.S. Presidents, including one performance at the White House, we’ve traveled the world, played on many iconic stages and have guested over 200 times on the Grand Ole Opry. In addition to that, we’ve appeared on several national television shows, including The Late Show with Jay Leno.

“Now, 20 years later with three GRAMMY nominations, two IBMA Entertainer of the Year awards, over 20 SPBGMA awards, I am just excited as I’ve ever been and I’m looking forward to what the next 20 years holds in store for The Grascals!”

Pre-save/add 20 HERE.