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The Grascals
The Famous Lefty Flynn's

Review By Steven Stone

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  The Grascals are the epitome of a super-tight bluegrass band. Whether it's a high baritone harmony or hot fiddle fill, every musical part is ALWAYS in exactly the right place. I've gotten it from a highly ranked anonymous source that all members of the band are actually super-talented mutants.

From the band's inception The Grascals have been "the band to watch." In 2005 they received IBMA's (International Bluegrass Music Association) "Emerging Artist of the Year." In 2006 and 2007 the Grascals received IBMA's coveted "Entertainer of the Year" Award. They released their first album, The Grascals, in 2005. 2006 saw their second release, Long List of Heartaches, but it's been four years since their last release. During that time the core band with Jaime Johnson on guitar and vocals, Terry Eldridge on guitar and vocals, Terry Smith on upright bass and vocals, Danny Robert on Mandolin and vocals and Jeremy Abshire on fiddle have added Kristin Scott Benson on banjo and vocals to replace David Talbot. Benson adds new options to the Grascals' musical palette with her pure soprano vocals and hot banjo chops.

The Famous Lefty Flynn's expands the Grascals universe past strictly bluegrass due to Steve Turner on drums and Lloyd Green on pedal steel guitar (neither instrument should have anything to do with bluegrass according to Bill Monroe). And while sometimes the orchestrations on The Famous Lefty Flynn's lean toward old time country honky tonk, the bluegrass spirit remains strong throughout the album. On the Bill Monroe/Hank Williams classic "I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome" the Grascals invited Hank Williams Jr. to contribute his unique brand of lead vocals. On the last cut of the album, the old hymn "Give Me Jesus," the Grascals deliver ravishing three-part harmonies as well as wonderfully understated mandolin, banjo, and fiddle solos.

Are the Grascals the best bluegrass band in the world? Perhaps not, since that's more a matter of taste than hard facts. But every bluegrass fan needs to hear The Famous Lefty Flynn's so they can judge for themselves.

 

 

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