Grascals define bluegrass music

Kristi and I went to hear the Grascals Friday evening at the Kentucky Opry in Draffenville, KY. Anyone who is at all into country music would have to be brain dead not to know that the Grascals are one of the solid big names in bluegrass music. And that they would be performing in such an intimate venue, for a reasonable price, well, since we were free, it was a no-brainer to go.

And we weren't disappointed. They have a 6 piece band with traditional bluegrass instrumentation - two guitars (unfortunately neither played any lead, the one place they lacked), mandolin, banjo (a female, which is a bit unusual), fiddle, and stand up bass. The two guitars and stand up bass stood in the middle, and did all the vocals, (except for one harmony by the banjo player) which were truly traditional bluegrass harmonies.

And while the vocals were outstanding, the instrumentalists were also. Not only was the female banjo player, a position not normally filled by females, top notch, the mandolin and fiddle player were great. This is a band with few flaws. They were as tight as the strings on those instruments. And authentic.

I give a lot of credit to Clay Campbell and his Kentucky Opry for bringing such acts at a reasonable price to our area. There wasn't a lot of advanced notice, which leads me to believe that the booking was a more or less last minute thing. The band said that they were in Bean Blossom, Indiana, the night before, (the birthplace of Bill Monroe) at the Bill Monroe festival. Coming to the Kentucky Opry gave them a gig before they returned home to Nashville. That was our good luck and I'm sure they enjoyed the evening, playing to an enthusiastic but less than sell-out crowd.

Bands from Nashville that end up performing at the Grand Ol' Opry are always really good. Anyone who is free and passes by a chance to see such a band in our area is a fool. We are music lovers and aren't fools. We enjoyed the show as much as you can enjoy a music show, and highly recommend the Grascals to anyone who loves bluegrass music.

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