* Bluegrass Music News,
With Emphasis on Southwestern PA. *
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Grascals take their brand of bluegrass to the big stage
On a nice night, it’s an easy walk.
Leaving the cozy Station Inn, it’s a couple blocks north on 12th Avenue, then east on Broadway for a half mile, down to the Bridgestone Arena. For most people, it takes about 10 minutes. For much-awarded bluegrass band The Grascals, it took about six years.
“We’ve had good experiences in front of country audiences,” said Grascal Terry Eldredge, whose band plays a bluegrass set at Friday, April 23’s Rowdy Friends tour stop at the arena. Formed by musicians who played regularly at The Station Inn, The Grascals will share tonight’s bill with Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson and Eric Church.
“Country fans love it, because it’s high-octane music most of the time. It gets them out of their seats and dancing and having a good time.
A tribute to two genres
Characterized by acoustic instrumentation, close harmonies and instrumental virtuosity, bluegrass music isn’t new to large stages: In the new millennium, Ricky Skaggs has opened shows on a massive Dixie Chicks arena tour, Ralph Stanley was featured on the Grammy Awards and the Grascals have logged time opening for Dolly Parton.
But The Grascals, who have twice won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s top entertainer prize, have been unusually successful in moving between the sometimes-insular bluegrass world and the commercial country industry. More in the Tennessean...