The Grascals

Country Classics with a Bluegrass Spin

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The Grascals are one of the hardest working bands in the bluegrass business. A showcase gig as Dolly Parton's backing band introduced them to mainstream country audiences and, like many new bluegrass acts, they make music that could easily climb up country as well as bluegrass charts. This CD is being sold exclusively at Cracker Barrel stores and a portion of its profits will benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The Grascals don't really need any help to put on a show, or cut a great CD, but on this set they're joined by some of the biggest names in country music. Brad Paisley does a credible job of channeling Buck Owens on "Tiger by the Tail" and Kent Wells adds a fine Don Rich-flavored electric guitar solo to the track. Dolly Parton sings duets with Grascal Terry Eldridge on the Parton/Wagoner hit "The Pain of Lovin' You." On "I Am Strong," an original written by Jamie Johnson and his wife, she adds strong support to Johnson's heartfelt vocal. Tom T. Hall takes the lead on "The Year That Clayton Delaney Died," and the band gives the tune an understated folky feel without any solos to distract from the song's poignant story. Wells brings plenty of country twang to "White Lightning," with Darryl Worley on lead vocal. The Oak Ridge Boys join in on Rodney Crowell's "Leavin' Louisiana in Broad Daylight," one of the album's pure bluegrass tracks. The Grascals show off their country side on a medley of Hank Jr.'s "Born to Boogie" and "All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin' Over Tonight" before shifting back into bluegrass mode for their own "Cracker Barrel Swing," featuring solid solos from Jeremy Abshire's fiddle, Kristin Scott Benson's banjo, and Terry Smith's double-time acoustic slap bass.

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