The Grascals & Friends By: Jim
Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
(and restaurant) has been putting out special
releases of good music for a few years, this one is
a real special treat. Picture the Grascals as the house
band, they have recorded mostly older classic
country covers, done very tastefully, with
many special guests. The CD is titled The
Grascals & Friends, let's take a look:
Jamie Johnson wrote a real special song while
visiting St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital in
Memphis with the Grascals last winter. It is
presented twice; once with Dolly Parton (see video
below), and again as a
bonus track with mostly everyone here participating.
A portion of proceeds of The Grascals & Friends goes
to St. Jude’s. The song is "I Am Strong." The ending
is priceless, as cancer patient Ansley McLaurin
sings the last line.
The CD starts out cookin' with Brad Paisley
doing his version of "Tiger by The Tail" (Buck
Owens). Sounds very good, He also puts in one of his
signature guitar breaks, followed by Kristin of the
Grascals taking off on banjo.
I have to jump out of order here, Charlie
Daniels just came on singing his very popular "Devil
Went Down To Georgia." Charlie was so impressed with Grascals’ fiddler Jeremy Abshire's playing, that he
opted not to play on the track.
"Folsom Prison Blues", Featuring Dierks Bentley
doing a great job covering the Johnny Cash classic with
the Grascals tossing in some very nice harmonies too. Guitarist
Kent Wells nails the guitar part.
"Pain of Lovin' You", Dolly Parton nails the song
she wrote with Porter Wagoner, and the Grascals
sound great playing with her. She then sings the
first version of "I Am Strong" with Jamie Johnson.
The lyrics here are powerful. Dolly's voice is as
good as ever. Very powerful song with some very nice
"Louisiana Saturday Night" is just the Grascals
performing this Bob McDill song. It is real upbeat,
reminds me a bit of Brad Paisley’s "American
Saturday Night". Just the concept, not necessarily
the tune itself, really takes off well.
"The Year That Clayton Delaney Died" (Tom T Hall)
sung by Tom T Hall with the Grascals. I really like
this, Tom sings this very animated, a song that
works very well.
"White Lightning" featuring Darryl Worley, this song
rocks, in a bluegrass way. Kristin really rocks the
banjo with lead guitarist Kent Wells playing some
sweet electric country riffs.
This album is a lot of fun and has a ton of talent
on it. If you like some country and bluegrass, you will
love this. I forgot one more important song, Joe
Nichols singing "Mr Bojangles", another very well
done piece with some great instrumentation by the
Grascals. This is a great way to start out the new