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GRASCALS 'Straighten the Curves' MH-17582-CD


Even as personnel changes - original Grascal Terry Eldridge made his “Heartbreak Hall of Fame” his swan song and only appearance on the album - the Grascals define dependability and sustained high quality. Yeah, that is a formula, but they do it so very, very well. Perfect picking and singing, careful arrangements, and a varied selection of songs from the best writers (it turns out that Eddie Rabbit’s “Drivin’ My Life Away” is a great song when somebody you like does it).

- Review by Art Menius

From start to finish, this is vintage Grascals — confident, clear-eyed, and filled with a spirit of adventure that’s always looking down the road, whether it leads away from or back to home. These themes are woven through the course of the project, from the lively Becky Buller-penned opener, “My Virginia Mama,” to the group’s revival of Eddie Rabbitt’s 80s country hit, “Drivin’ My Life Away,” and the defiant getaway of the title track, penned by Canadian old-time and bluegrass stalwart Chris Coole.
In true Grascals form, there are a couple of stellar gospel numbers given luminous readings by Bryan (“The Shepherd Of My Valley”) and Davis (“What Does God Look Like”) alongside a pair of ballads in the thoughtful “They Laughed” and a melancholy “Don’t Leave Your Memory Behind”, the mandolin-led picking showcase, “AndiWayne”, and a pair of grassy lovelorn laments in “Calling Your Name” and “Who Needs You”. With the vocal trio of Bryan (guitar), Davis (guitar) and founding member Terry Smith (bass) backed by an instrumental trio that includes Kristin Scott Benson (four-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year and recipient of the Steve Martin Award for Excellence in Banjo & Bluegrass, founding member Danny Roberts (seven-time SPBGMA Mandolin Player of the Year) and master fiddler Adam Haynes, the Grascals are a formidable presence in the world of bluegrass. Infusing a musical wisdom developed and refined through years of steady creativity on stage