The Grascals released their first recording in 2005. Now, 15 years later, the band’s sound remains intact, notwithstanding the personnel changes that come with a band having this much seniority. This recording includes founding members Terry Smith on bass and vocals, Danny Roberts on mandolin, and Kristin Scott Benson, 2019’s IBMA Banjo Player Of The Year. Adam Haynes handles fiddle, and new member Chris Davis is on guitar and vocals. John Bryan also plays guitar and adds vocals.
This project contains a wide variety of songs and one instrumental, typical of the band’s approach to recording. Several numbers have been high on various bluegrass charts. Harley Allen’s “Haggard” (about a singing dog) reached #1 on BU’s February chart. The album itself reached #5 in February. Becky Buller’s “My Virginia Mama” opens the project, and it’s a peppy number. The pace slows on track three with Davis’ “Don’t Leave Your Memory Behind,” a broken love song. The band covers Eddie Rabbit’s “Drivin’ My Life Away” in fine fashion. Danny Roberts adds the instrumental “AndiWayne.” Listeners are treated to two gospel songs. “What Does God Look Like” recounts the questions of a young girl pondering the wondrousness of God. Prolific songwriter Betty Jean Robinson’s (once voted Female Country Songwriter Of The Year by Billboard) “The Shepherd Of My Valley (What Would I Do Without Jesus)” closes the CD in an inspiring manner.
If you’re a Grascals fan, you’ll want this for your library. If you’re new to the Grascals, they might just become one of your favorites after hearing this album. (Mountain Home, P.O. Box 829, Arden, NC 28704, www.mountainhomemusiccompany.com)BW