Bluegrass into the future

 

The Grascals

Long List of Heartaches

Rounder Records

The instruments and vocals associated with old-time bluegrass music are still alive and kickin’, thanks to artists like The Grascals, one of the genre’s hottest acts today.

Their second CD, Long List of Heartaches, carries on the sound that their 2005 debut release featured: tight three-part harmonies and tight musical interplay.

Their sound is reminiscent of legendary bluegrass artists like Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and the Osborne Brothers. And The Grascals — Terry Eldrege, Jamie Johnson, Jimmy Mattingly, Danny Roberts, Terry Smith and David Talbot — acknowledge the past as they take bluegrass into the future.

The songs on Long List of Heartaches range from humorous (the title track) to heartbreak (a wonderful cover of Merle Haggard’s “You Don’t Have Very Far to Go”); from a night on the town (“My Night to Howl”) to a bluegrass/gospel song (“Did You Forget God Today” that features The Jordanaires); a country tear-jerker (“Don’t Tell Mama,” highlighted by a recitation done by country legend George Jones) to a song about bringing the rural lifestyle to the big city (“Hoedown in Motown” with Hoosier Steve Wariner).

It’s not a bad thing to be traditional, especially when it comes to music. The Grascals are solid proof of that.

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