The Grascals life and biography

The Grascals picture, image, poster

The Grascals biography

Date of birth : -
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-02-05
Credited as : Bluegrass and country band, By the Mark, Osborne Brothers

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The Grascals is a six-piece bluegrass band hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 2004, the band has since gained a level of notability by playing on the Grand Ole Opry and in bluegrass festivals around the country.

The Grascals have roots that reach back more than two decades of bluegrass history, as their paths have crossed and re-crossed in bluegrass ensembles like the Osborne Brothers, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time and the Sidemen. Terry Eldredge fronts the Sidemen at Nashville's famous bluegrass club, the Station Inn. The Indiana native began his career playing bass with durable Opry stars Lonzo and Oscar. He joined the Osborne Brothers on bass in 1988, soon switching to guitar and adding a powerful lead and low tenor voice. At almost the same time, he and other young Nashville band members created the Sidemen, establishing a regular Tuesday night gig at the Station Inn. Eldredge took up the bass again when he joined Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time at the end of the 1990s, earning a 2003 IBMA nomination for bass player of the year and contributing his tenor and lead vocals. During a hiatus from Lonesome Standard Time, he recorded and performed as a member of Dolly Parton's Blue-niques.

In addition to two solo albums for Pinecastle Records, his recording credits include appearances on CDs by Benny Martin, Josh Graves and Chubby Wise, as well as country star Dierks Bentley. Another veteran of the Osborne Brothers' band, bassist Terry Smith grew up in North Carolina before moving to Nashville in his early teens. Beginning in a family band with his brother, Billy, and his parents - Hazel Smith, Terry's mom, is a songwriter and popular country music journalist - he graduated to stints with Jimmy Martin, Wilma Lee Cooper and the Osborne Brothers. He also recorded a 1990 album for CBS with his brother, following it with 1992's Grass Section (made with friends and colleagues like Ronnie McCoury and Glen Duncan) and a 1996 Bill Monroe tribute that included some of the last recorded appearances by the Father of Bluegrass. In 1999, the brothers issued Voices of the Mountain, with original songs that found a place in the repertoire of bluegrass favorites like the Del McCoury Band and the Lonesome River Band.

Smith has worked as a staff songwriter for EMI and Major Bob Music and recorded with Marty Raybon, Vern Gosdin, Kenny Baker and other artists. After a long tour of duty with Grand Ole Opry member Mike Snider, he joined the Grascals in 2004. Jimmy Mattingly worked in Garth Brooks' touring band from 1995 until Brooks retired from the road. He also played on three of Brooks' albums and appeared with Brooks in a Dr Pepper television commercial. Despite his success as a country player, his first love has long been bluegrass music. Raised in Leitchfield, Ky., Mattingly played in numerous fiddle contests as a youngster, culminating in a 1981 U.S. Grand Masters victory. He then joined progressive bluegrass pioneers Spectrum in 1981, remaining with the group until its dissolution in the middle of the decade. After stints with the Forrester Sisters and Steve Wariner, he joined Parton's band in 1989, recording and touring with her until 1993. It was during a break in Parton's touring schedule that he joined the Osborne Brothers, where he became friends with Smith and Eldredge, who would join him again in Parton's Blue-niques in 2002.

Danny Roberts began playing guitar to back up his friend Mattingly when the two were growing up on adjacent farms in Leitchfield, Ky. Soon he was winning contests on his own as a guitarist and, eventually, mandolin player. In 1982 he co-founded the New Tradition, a bluegrass-gospel group that toured the country for close to 20 years, the last 10 on a full-time basis. When the group dissolved in 2000, Roberets went to work for Gibson Musical Instruments, where he rose to the position of plant manager at the company's Original Acoustic Instruments luthiery. Still, he kept his hand in as a musician, giving workshops with mandolin colleagues like Sam Bush, Chris Thile and Bobby Osborne, making guest appearances with artists such as Marty Raybon, Larry Cordle and Melonie Cannon, and touring and recording with the Reno Tradition. He reunited with Mattingly in the Grascals in 2004. Though he helped to found the Wildwood Valley Boys at the beginning of the decade, Jamie Johnson first drew attention to his tenor voice as a member of the Boys From Indiana, with whom he performed in the mid-1990s. Stints with local bluegrass and country bands followed before he returned to the Wildwood Valley Boys, making his recording debut on their 2000 album I'm a Believer. Following his move to Nashville in the late 1990s, Bobby Osborne cut one of his songs, and Gail Davies hired him for her band. He joined the Sideman in 2001. Canadian-born banjo player David Talbot also moved to Nashville in the late 1990s and performed with Eldredge as a member of Lonesome Standard Time for five years. He appeared on albums from Bryan Sutton and Aubrey Haynie, as well as Reba McEntire (that's his banjo on "I'm Gonna Move That Mountain"), Marty Raybon, Jim Lauderdale and Rebecca Lynn Howard. He also contributes baritone and low tenor vocals to the Grascals. After touring as Parton's opening act in 2004, the band released its debut album on Rounder Records in early 2005.

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