Rowdy Friends Tour • ITK talk to The Grascals

In The Know talks to Terry Eldridge with The Grascals
The Rowdy Friends Tour with Hank Williams, Jr.
April 9th, Century Tel, 7pm

ITK: Basically, by musical standards, you guys have come a long way in a very short amount of time, haven’t you?
Terry: Yes, we have. We’ve been very fortunate in that. Usually, a group, it usually takes them about 10 years to get to the stature that we have risen to. But, we’ve had a lot of help along the way. We’ve worked very hard at it. But we’ve also had some help from people in the music industry such as Ms. Dolly Parton. We had the rocket and she gave us the fuel.

ITK: I heard that you guys really didn’t think you’d ever really go anywhere, that you were just looking for a side gig to make some extra money. Is that true?
Terry: Not necessarily, because most of us were unemployed at the same time. Me and David Talbot had just left Lonesome Standard Time, who we were playing with, and Jimmy was working with Garth, Jamie was working a day job, the others were working off and on with other people. We all at one time or another had played together in different bands. We decided to form a band, we were all unemployed and fortunately enough the planets were all in a line.

ITK: Who is The Monkees fan in the group that wanted to record a remake of ‘Last Train To Clarksville’?
Terry: [laughs] We had talked about doing that on the previous album before. And then we were just looking for another song because we like to pick from different genres of songs and I think it was Jamie that said “What about that Monkees song”? We get so much response and people thought “Whoever thought to do that in bluegrass style”?

ITK: Around 2004, Dolly Parton took a keen interest in The Grascals. So keen, that you guys ended up becoming Dolly’s opening act and then her stage band performing at Dolly wood. How did that come about?
Terry: Well, me and Jimmie had worked with her before on an album that she did called ‘Halo and Horns’. Our first album was recorded at the same studio that she recorded at. One day Jimmie mentioned some of our songs and he played her 2 or 3 cuts. She said that she wanted us to be her opening act and also go on tour with her.
ITK: It’s all about being at the right place at the right time.
Terry: You ain’t a kidding!

ITK: I know in 2007 that Mayberry’s Finest, a food company, sponsored The Grascals. What has to happen in a bands career to get your own bus with your name on it?
Terry: A lot of its hard work but it’s being at the right place at the right time. We played a trucker’s convention here in Louisville and were losing the Mayberry sponsors and Jamie was joking with the lady from Mobile Delvac and told her “Well, you could sponsor us if you want. We’ll go down the road with Mobile Delvac painted on the side of the bus.” That’s how it happened. Now, when we pull into town, everybody knows about Mobile Delvac and all about us cause it’s painted on the side.

ITK: With traditional bluegrass and newgrass as the standard two types of bluegrass, how do you feel about being termed Neo-Traditional Bluegrass musicians?
Terry: I feel good about it because we lean more to the traditional but we try to put a new sound to it. I like to call us grass-country because we combine the two types of music. We kind of combine those two together and every now and then we’ll throw a rock n roll song in. We’ll try it and if it fits our sound, we’ll do it.


~ by Voltima on March 30, 2010.

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