Robert, Victor & Steve Dowdy - Together Again
The Grascals, assembled from a set of Nashville pickers who appeared regularly at the Station Inn as "The Sidemen" are approaching their tenth year on the road. The band has been remarkable stable and has retained a high level of popularity. Their allegiance to their original combination of respect and affection for the Osborne Brothers, Jimmy Martin, and Bill Monroe coupled with wise selection of new material written within the band or from contemporary song writers showcases their versatility and traditional roots. Kristen Scott Benson has been named IBMA banjo player of the year in four of her five years with The Grascals. Darrell Webb filled in more than capably for Jamie Johnson, who's recovering from some contagious affliction and will be back soon.
Dailey and Vincent hit the stage with hard driving bluegrass, fervent evangelical gospel, humorous set pieces, and country impressions in a fast-paced melange that consistently entertains. Their program is lively, varied, and hard hitting. Their insistence on presenting a single ninety minute set continues to disrupt the flow of an orderly festival, making it difficult for the bands that have to follow them and for fans to remain after sitting for a full ninety minutes. Their delivery is slick and well-rehearsed. Christian Davis has relaxed considerably on stage and become a much more effective performer. Jeff Parker's fine singing, mandolin play, and seemingly irrespressible clowning are always welcome. Jesse Baker's banjo play is exciting and his impressions dead on. B.J. Cherryholmes says almost nothing, preferring to let his fiddle and mandolin speak for him. Both Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent sing well and keep proceedings moving. According to Jamie Dailey, from the stage, their 2013 show is still in preparation, but seemed already to contain fresh material from the time we last saw them.