Grammy-Nominated Bluegrass Band The Grascals will headline the Sertoma Youth Ranch Spring Festival this weekend in Brooksville, Florida, near Tampa. The four-day long festival which begins today, March 26, and runs through Sunday, is a fundraiser for the Sertoma Youth Ranch, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a rustic, outdoor recreational area for the children of Florida.
The Grascals formed in 2004 as a six-piece bluegrass band. With a boost from the Grand Ole Opry and with touring with the legendary Dolly Parton, the band grew quickly. The band's members comprised seasoned professionals within the industry who had already paid their dues performing with other bands. Within a single year as a band, they garnered the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) Emerging Artist of the Year Award and the Song of the Year award for "Me and John and Paul."
The group has just released their 8th album, When I Get My Pay, which is already receiving a lot of good press and reviews. The three-time Grammy nominated band has already released the companion video for one album cut. “American Pickers” was penned by Jamie Johnson, Susanne Mumpower Johnson and Jeffrey East after members of The Grascals met and became friends with Mike Wolfe of the hit History Channel television show, American Pickers. Country superstar and Grascals’ pal, Dierks Bentley, lends his vocals to the album cut and appears in the music video, along with Wolfe.
The Spring Festival line-up is packed with traditional bluegrass bands, including the nationally-touring Gary Waldrep Band from Alabama and The Kevin Prater Band from Kentucky. Florida's own Swinging Bridge, Florida Bluegrass Express, Bill Deiter & The Maple Street Quartet, Tuck Tucker, and Mike & Mary Robinson bring local and regional talent to the stage. The weekend also includes a banjo workshop, a mandolin workshop, a Sunday gospel sing, a Thursday evening open mic, and a variety of children's activities.
Four-day passes are $55 at the gate, or tickets can be purchased per day ($10/Thursday, $25/Friday, Saturday, $5/Sunday). Tickets for youth ages 10-15 are $15 for a four-day pass, or $5/day. Admission is free on Wednesday, and for children under the age of 9.
Camping is available on site for $23/night (hookups, water), or $13/night (dry). Tickets can also be purchased in advance at www.evansmediasource.com, or by calling 904-886-8378.
Great musicians will always find a way to make good music, but for great musicians to make great music, they must form a bond – one that, more often than not, goes beyond the purely musical to the personal. For The Grascals, that bond has been forged at the intersection of personal friendships, shared professional resumes and an appreciation for the innovative mingling of bluegrass and country music that has been a hallmark of the Nashville scene for more than forty years. As their records prove, The Grascals’ rare musical empathy gives them an unerring ear for just the right touch to illuminate each offering’s deepest spirit - whether they’re digging into one of their original songs or reworking a bluegrass classic or a pop standard.
Vocally, the trio of Terry Eldredge, Jamie Johnson and Terry Smith are tighter than ever, cutting loose on driving solo vocals and soaring trios with equal fire and passion. As an instrumental unit, The Grascals have never sounded sharper, with mandolin ace Danny Roberts, fiddler Adam Haynes and banjo player Kristin Scott Benson leading the charge. As a result, their cutting-edge modern bluegrass is delivered with a deep knowledge of, and admiration for, the work of the music’s founding fathers. Timely yet timeless, The Grascals make music that is entirely relevant to the here and now, yet immersed in traditional values of soul and musicianship. It’s a unique sound that has earned two of their previous releases (The Grascals, 2005 and Long List of Heartaches, 2006) Grammy® nominations for International Bluegrass Music Association's Best Bluegrass Album.