For one spring night next year, the world of Bluegrass music will fix their focus on Jackson and Breathitt County, when the renowned six-piece band The Grascals will grace the Douthitt Park stage for a concert on Saturday, June 9, 2012.
Considered by many fans to be the best Bluegrass band currently out there, the Nashville-based group's appearance was confirmed during a special meeting of the Jackson City Council last Thursday. At that meeting the council signed and approved a contract with the Grascals' promoters, Frontier Booking Company of Nashville, agreeing that the concert will be a benefit not just for music lovers, but for the Jackson Parks and Recreation Department, who operates Douthitt Park.
“They are the number one group in the Bluegrass music field today. That's according to Billboard and Bluegrass magazines and through radio airplay,” said City Councilman Buford Williams, who worked and promoted the Grascals coming to town for the past few months. “Their hit song, 'Me, John and Paul' was the Song of the Year by the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) in 2005. And they've won the IBMA Entertainer of the Year award twice, in 2006 and 2007.”
Founded in 2004, the Grascals have picked up a large, devoted following by playing at Bluegrass festivals across America, as well as appearing on the Grand Ole Opry and on music videos such as the old Monkees classic, “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I Am Strong” with music legend Dolly Parton. One of the six current members originally hails from the western part of Kentucky - Mandolin player Danny Roberts is from Leitchfield, in Grayson County, and joined fellow Leitchfield native Jimmy Mattingly (an original Grascal member) in the band for years, before Mattingly left in 2008. Other band members include Terry Eldredge on guitar and vocals, Jeremy Abshire on fiddle, Kristin Scott Benson on banjo, Terry Smith on bass and vocals, and Jamie Johnson on guitar and vocals.
In 2004, they became the opening act for Dolly Parton, where they got noticed with a cover version of the Elvis classic, “Viva Las Vegas.” The Grascals recorded their first album in 2005, simply called “The Grascals” which featured the song “Me, John and Paul.” It was named the IBMA Song of the Year, with the group also being awarded the IBMA's Emerging Artist of the Year, both in 2005. A year later, they received the first of their two IBMA Entertainer of the Year awards. The 2006 win was due in part to their strong second album, “Long List of Headaches,” which featured guest artists like Dierks Bentley, George Jones, Steve Wariner and The Jordanaires. Their second one came in 2007, and a year later, the Grascals recorded their third album, “Keep on Walkin'.'” They also received four IBMA nominations during the period, as well as two Grammy nominations, and took six SPBGMA Society for the Preservation of Blue Grass Music) Awards.
This year they recorded the CD, “Dance Til Your Stockings Are Hot and Ravelin'”, done in the style of the group The Darlings on “The Andy Griffith Show” TV series.
Information on where tickets can be purchased and corporate sponsorship for the concert is expected to be announced later this year.