GSB to Perform at Atlanta Braves-Turner Field: Memorial Day Weekend (Sat May 28)

chipper saves freemanThe Atlanta Braves have selected the Grassland String Band as one of ten bands to perform at Turner Field in their 2016 “Band of the Year” promotional series.  The group that is named the “Braves Band of the Year” will win the opportunity to perform in 2017 at SunTrust Park. The “Band of the Year” will be chosen by the Braves game entertainment staff, who will judge the groups based on combination of factors including crowd participation and enthusiasm.

GSB will perform from 2:20 to 3:20 on Saturday May 28th prior to the Memorial Day weekend game with the Florida Marlins (4:10 start).

The game also features a promotional giveaway of a highly collectible “Chipper Rescues Freddie ATV” bobblehead to the first 20,000 fans.  Chipper Jones made national headlines when he took his four-wheeler into a 2014 Atlanta snowstorm to rescue his former teammate, Freddie Freeman, who was stuck in the city’s traffic gridlock.  Now, he and Freeman will receive a bobblehead commemorating their experience.

GSB fans will receive a discounted price for tickets.   More information about that will be released by the Braves organization soon.

GSB Included in Athfest 2016 CD Compilation

Grassland String Band is proud to announce that “American Flag” (written by Michael Lesousky) is included in this year’s Athfest Compilation CD. 

Athfest Educates, a nonprofit organization committed to sustaining and advancing music and arts education for young people in Athens-Clarke County,  announced the details for the 2016 AthFest compilation CD, which will be a special two-disc set this year in honor of the festival’s 20th anniversary.

“American Flag” is currently unreleased, but will be included in GSB’s next EP.   Plans are to release the album in the late Summer or early Fall.

In addition to the usual CD of mostly-unreleased songs from local bands, this year’s comp will feature a bonus disc featuring a “Best of AthFest” tracklist. The best-of disc will include songs by R.E.M., Elf Power, Drive-By Truckers, The Whigs, New Madrid, Vic Chesnutt, Widespread Panic and more.

This year’s festival compilation, which was curated by a team of students in the Music Business program at UGA, features tunes by local acts Dream Culture, Son & Thief, Wieuca, Tarnation, Walden, The Orange Constant and Grassland String Band, among others.

A CD release party for the compilation is set for Thursday, May 5 at the 40 Watt featuring live performances from Walden, Dream Culture and The Orange Constant. The CD will be available for purchase at that show; the official release date is June 21.

GSB to Perform at Winterville Marigold Festival, May 2016

GSB will join a stellar list of area bands performing at the 2016 Winterville Marigold Festival,  Saturday May 21st.  The list of bands and times are:

9:45 National Anthem performed by Wilma
12:00 Dodd Ferrelle and the Wintervillians
1:00 Welfare Liners
2:00 Clay Leverett and Friends
3:00 Matt Joiner Band
4:00 Grassland String Band
5:00 Rev. Connor Tribble and the Deacons
6:00 Klezmer Local 42
7:00 Caroline Aiken
8:00 Randall Bramblett Band

B3 Hammond Legend Ike Stubblefield Records for GSB

ikestubblefieldHammond B3/ Whurlitzer virtuoso Ike Stubblefield is a music industry legend with almost 50 years in the business.

When GSB needed someone to take take two of its songs,  “Boom Boom” and “Diamond” to new heights, Ike was the overwhelming choice. His sound is the perfect fit for “Boom Boom”, a preachy motivational tune that encourages folks to reach for their potential and to “kick down the door”.  In “Diamond”, Ike creates a soulful undertone that perfectly compliments Michael Lesousky’s bluesy vocals.  Simply put, Ike nailed it in the studio and we are head-over-heels excited about it.  “Boom Boom” and “Diamond” are part of the Echo Mountain Sessions EP that is scheduled for release  in the late Fall.

Ike cut his teeth backing Motown legends like the Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder and Rare Earth. He lent his soulful R&B style to Al Green, Ike & Tina Turner, Curtis Mayfield, B.B. King, The Pointer Sisters and George Benson, and helped create the classic B3 sound that others would imitate for generations to come. In 2010, he collaborated with Grammy-winning Atlanta soul man Cee Lo Green, recording organ and keyboards on 9 tracks.

These days, the B3 icon and mini-Moog master stays busy jamming with Papa Mali in New Orleans, rocking with Big Hat in Nashville and producing out of his Atlanta studio. Drawing from his recent time with the Derek Trucks Band and years on the road as a musician-for-hire, Stubblefield is finding his true passion collaborating with old friends and bringing the loose ends of an illustrious career together on his new project, The Ike Stubblefield Trio.   GSB is very honored for Ike’s contribution to the Echo Mountain Sessions EP.

Read more here: Ike Stubblefield

GSB Completes EOP Red Clay Live Album

Even with all the planning and rehearsal, recording a live performance doesn’t guarantee a successful album.

In this case, it did.

In early November, GSB performed at the EOP Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth, Georgia.  Among the finest listening halls in the South, Eddie Owen and his team produce the quintessential experience for any musician, from the lavishly stocked green room and kitchen to the pinpoint accurate sound system and video services.   Recording here was an easy choice for GSB.

EOP sound engineer Shalom Aberle is simply the best.  Eddie Owen said of Shalom,  “What (he) does better than any other sound engineer I have worked with is create in a live environment the same listening experience you get when you listen to your favorite album in your preferred manner, whether that means a vinyl record on a turntable, a CD through headphones or whatever.”   Shalom’s vast real-world experiences as both an artist and engineer come through in the clean sound that he delivers to the audience during a show and in the exquisitely mixed tracks that he produces.  Shalom gives his best and is straightforwardly expectant of the same from performers.  For GSB, the results were very, very good.

EOP videographer Jonathan Vinson  taped the show, expertly documenting the onstage personalities of GSB and the interaction with an appreciative crowd.  Here the eye verifies what the ear hears:  there is passion in this band, captured in the faces as much as in the voices and hands.   Many of those videos are available on the GSB You Tube Channel.

GSB plans to release the album, titled Cold Blooded, Bleeding Heart, on iTunes and other media outlets within the next few weeks.  It is currently available from the band and at shows on an 8gb GSB logo flash drive that includes the songs and videos.




GSB Set To Record at Echo Mountain, Asheville

Echo Moountain webGSB is thrilled to announce that it will begin production of its next album, starting with a 2-day recording session at Echo Mountain Studio in downtown Asheville on January 22 and 23,  2016.  Julian Dreyer, Grammy-Nominated Chief Engineer of Echo Mountain Recording, will handle the project.  Arguably the South’s most aesthetic and functionally impressive studio,  Echo Mountain Studio is housed in a former Methodist Church and much of that architectural “spirit” remains.  The main studio boasts a large stained glass window and the woods and layout still possess the feel of being in a Church.  The list of clients is a litany of who’s who;  Steve Martin, Peter Asher and the Steep Canyon Rangers were there the day before GSB visited earlier this year.  Other notable artists who have recorded at EMS include Amy Ray, Zac Brown, Dierks Bentley and Dawes.  Athens native Will Manning,  who produced GSB’s first album,  was an intern at EMS.  Songs planned in this recording session include “Give Me A Reason”“Diamond”, “American Flag” and “The Boom Boom Song”.   GSB hopes to have the album completed by late-Spring 2016.

Grassland String Band: The Face of ‘Amerigrass’

Grassland String Band: The Face of ‘Amerigrass’
By: Rachel Bailey

Bluegrass was only the beginning.

Athens, Georgia’s Grassland String Band began their journey at a bluegrass jam, when lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Lesousky wowed vocalist and banjo player Jody Daniels with his talent. The two of them decided to make music together, and GSB was born. A few years later, they’ve grown into a multi-generational six-piece band (spanning in age from 24 to 60) that boasts members with master’s degrees in classical organ and guitar; a jazz-influenced, improvisational live performance style; and a lead singer who’d sound as at home fronting a soul band as he does backed by a fiddle.

You would never have put together a band like this using a formula.

In the months after their meeting, Daniels and Lesousky rounded out their line-up to include Nathan Elder on bass, Todd Ferguson on drums, fiddler Adam Poulin, and classical guitarist Kevin Fleming. With that growing base of musical knowledge, GSB’s sound expanded to touch on Americana, jazz, pop and folk — a hybrid the group has taken to calling Amerigrass.

Before the Feast, GSB’s debut album released in the summer of 2014, presents a survey of what Amerigrass has to offer. Opener “Clara” is all boisterous vocal interplay and fine string-pickin’, a glimpse into the group’s palpable chemistry and virtuosic musicianship. A few tracks later, Lesousky’s impressive pipes take center stage on the love song, “Neil Young” as the backing band mellows into a supporting role that could almost be called stripped-down by comparison if it wasn’t so rich with sound. In live performances the band has already started incorporating new material from a forthcoming follow-up, like “Boom Boom,” in which Daniels takes center stage. Clearly having one hell of a good time, he leads the band through a soulful number about the need “to kick down the door, children!” over Fleming’s bluesy, electric guitar.

At live shows, all these elements are turned up to eleven. This is not a set you’ll see fans chatting through. The crowd yells “woo”s of encouragement. They slap their thighs. They sing along. They dance. The band’s chemistry, so apparent on record, positively fills the room as they grin their way through the set, extending some of their tracks into improvised jams. Does it feel a little like bluegrass? Sure. But it’s something more, something modern and amorphous. If this is Amerigrass, I think I like it.

(Watch GSB live at LiveWire Athens, here)

GSB to Perform at Foxhall Resort/Garden & Gun Event: Sept 20

G&G logoGarden & Gun Magazine, a premier Southern Lifestyle journal, has tapped GSB to perform for its 3rd Annual G & G Shoot September 20th at the prestigious Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club in Douglasville, Georgia.

The event celebrates the sporting life with Garden & Gun at its third annual sporting clays tournament. A friendly 15-station, 100-target competition followed by live music from Grassland String Band and lunch at the beautiful Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club, just 25 minutes from the Atlanta airport. All levels of experience are encouraged. Competitiors can sign up with a team of four or come on their own.

Tournament ticket: $260, includes coffee and a light breakfast, 100-target sporting clays competition, ammunition, golf cart (one per team), sportsman’s shopping experience, awards ceremony, Southern lunch, and live music.

Non-tournament ticket: $115, includes coffee and a light breakfast, shooting instruction on the 5-stand and Wobble Trap, opportunity to relax and enjoy the property, sportsman’s shopping experience with G&G Mercantile + Co, awards ceremony, Southern lunch, and live music.