Bluegrass Band to Play at RV Park Named for Them
Bluegrass music and RV parks kind of go hand in hand, according to the Dothan (Ala.) Eagle.
Fans of bluegrass travel from festival to festival in recreational vehicles and camp as long as there’s good music. So when the RV park at Country Crossing in Dothan was named after bluegrass group The Grascals, it was perfect fit, guitarist Terry Eldredge said.
“It’s just a cool thing,” Eldredge said. “We grew up going to RV parks and bluegrass festivals. That’s the life of our music.”
The collaboration came about when Kirt Webster, who handles public relations for both Country Crossing and The Grascals, suggested the partnership. The Grascals will open Saturday’s performances for Country Crossing’s grand opening at 3:30 p.m. They’re also expected to play each day in the Worley Bird Saloon.
The Grascals have been at the top of bluegrass music since they came on the scene in 2004. Today, the six-piece band is made up of guitarists Eldredge and Jamie Johnson, bassist Terry Smith, mandolin player Danny Roberts, banjo player Kristin Scott Benson and Jeremy Abshire on fiddle. The band has seen some changes in musicians — different fiddle and banjo players — but they haven’t slowed down. They’ve been nominated for a Grammy, a Dove award and a number of bluegrass awards. They’ve been recognized as the top bluegrass entertainers by the International Bluegrass Music Association and has received song and instrumental awards from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America.
It was a quick rise to the top thanks to a very well-connected friend.
The Grascals were recording at the same studio and time as country star Dolly Parton. Both Eldredge and the group’s original fiddle player, Jimmy Mattingly, had worked with Parton in the past. When she found out they were recording, she asked to hear a sample. She liked what she heard and asked them to open for her on an upcoming tour and play in her band on stage.
“You talk about giving you a boost in a career real quick,” Eldredge said.
The Grascals found themselves playing for crowds of 10,000 to 20,000 people. They developed a following quickly. Their first year out, The Grascals received a Grammy nomination for best bluegrass album and IBMA bluegrass awards as emerging artist and song of the year.
The group has collaborated with some of country music’s top stars, including Charlie Daniels and Vince Gill. They’ve even recently recorded a bluegrass song for Hank Williams Jr. — a song that Williams wrote 20 years ago but never recorded.
“We’re staying true to our hearts for the music we love and thank goodness people have accepted it,” Eldredge said.
The Grascals first came together when the original group of musicians were all unemployed in Nashville. The musicians had all played at the same Nashville bluegrass club at one time or another for 16 years. Several of them had talked of starting a band but never did until they all found themselves out of work.
Eldredge said members often get asked about the group’s name. The moniker is a nod to “The Little Rascals.” Yes, they simply dropped the “little” and added a “G” for “grass.” And that’s how they became The Grascals.
Audiences at Country Crossing can expect a good show, Eldredge said.
“They’ll see six people that love each other and love what we’re doing and love the music we’re playing,” he said.