The Grascals are one of the most recognizable names in bluegrass. According to their website, the Grascals have been named Entertainer of the Year twice by the International Bluegrass Music Association, appeared on the Grand Ole Opry over 150 times, and have performed for President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
The Grascals released their latest CD “And Then There’s This” earlier this month. The CD was featured on “Track-By-Track With Kyle Cantrell on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction two days before the CD’s release. The Grascals also celebrated release week with an appearance on the Opry at the Ryman, an appearance in the Ryman lobby after the Opry and a release party in Boone, NC.
The Grascals now consists of Danny Roberts, Terry Eldredge, Terry Smith, Kristin Scott Benson, Adam Haynes and John Bryan.
“This album definitely has a traditional feel,” says Roberts.
Bryan, who joined the Grascals last April, is featured on the new CD. “We feel like there’s a new spark in the band we haven’t had in a while,” Roberts says.
When it comes time to find songs to record, he says they look for good music with strong lyrics.
One writer the band really likes is Harley Allen. The latest album features “True Hearts,” a song Allen co-wrote will Billy Smith. Although Allen passed away in 2011, Roberts says they have put back a lot of the stuff that Allen had given them. “We’ve got Harley songs we will probably be recording for many years,” he says.
Another great writer featured on the CD is Shawn Camp. “A Place To Hang My Hat” was co-written by Camp, Brice Long and Byron Hill.
Roberts said they hoped they would find a song from Larry Cordle and Carl Jackson. The two men wrote “Delta Queen,” which appears on the new CD. “They are two of our favorite people in the world,” he says.
Roberts says one thing that has kept the Grascals going is the fact that there hasn’t been a lot of change. When they started The Grascals, Roberts says most of them were around 40 years old. He says they set a business plan in motion and held to it. “We didn’t kind of wander around aimlessly,” he says.
There have been new members brought in over the years, but they have been selective as to who they bring in to the group. “We have been careful who we have brought in and they have fit perfectly,”
In the past, The Grascals have always sold CDs on the road. Roberts says “And Then There’s This” was the first record where they were worried about pre-orders.
Technology has changed the way the band communicates with fans and promote their concerts.
“It is such a good thing,” Roberts says. “You can book a show for next week and all your fans know about it overnight.”
The Grascals are now back on the road after taking off most of December. They did play a show at The Station Inn in Nashville, Tennessee on New Year’s Eve.
Roberts says they made a new commitment this past year to making sure they get back to the bluegrass festivals.