Based in Washington, D.C., Grits never released an LP during its ten-year existence (1970-1980). The material for the band's posthumous CD release, As the World Grits, was recorded from 1971 to 1975. The CD shows the band's diverse mix of influences, including jazz, hard rock, progressive, symphony, opera, and even country.
The four members of Grits were classically trained and grew up in musical families. Founder and keyboardist Rick Barse, who wrote and arranged the material on the CD, studied piano starting at the age of eight. Guitarist Tom Wright began playing violin as a five-year-old. His classical studies included training at the Oberlin Conservatory. He picked up a guitar in junior high school so he could play rock music with friends. Wright later played viola with the Chicago Symphony. Bassist/vocalist Amy Taylor sang as a child and took up the violin at the age of nine. Bob Sims studied with a National Symphony percussionist, but found the traps more fun.