Graber Gryass’ Late Bloom

By Brian Rock

Graber Gryass, an assortment of seasoned bluegrass veterans, germinates to release their debut album, Late Bloom. Led by vocalist Michael Graber, the band plays traditional Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountain Bluegrass styles with the unbridled enthusiasm of modern masters, Old Crow Medicine Show.

Graber Gryass comes out with banjos blazing on “Drifting Away.” Warning his daughter about the perils of love, Graber sings, “I’ve been there before. Everything changes when you walk through that door.” Accompanied by frenzied fiddle, he tries urgently to warn his daughter about the perils of love. Realizing his cause is lost, he finally relents and sings, “I wish you well as love drags you through Heaven and Hell.”

Exploring the ups and downs of love’s wicked whims, Graber Gryass celebrates the early bloom of romance on the courting song, “Wind That Shakes The Cotton.” They weigh the pros and cons of cheating with a temptress on “More To Lose.” They try to cope with the harsh realities of divorce in “Fool Living Wrong.” They mourn the loss of a loved one on “Forgotten What I Call Home.” They even manage to find the humor in being the one cheated on in “Oaks & Pines,” and “Devil’s Got Your Name.” On the latter, Graber commiserates with Old Scratch at the local bar when he notices, “The devil’s got your name tattooed on his arm – in the same damn place as mine.” The fresh perspectives and witty lyrics give a “fresh coat of paint” to the traditional bluegrass melodies.

The band also experiments with atmospheric and contrapuntal rhythms on “When The Water’s Low,” and “A Fable,” before reembracing their musical roots on the instrumental, “Late Bloom.” Rounding out the album, Graber Gryass turns to country blues to sing of the simple, if risky joys of “Drinkin’ 40s.”

This talented collective of pickers and fiddlers may have taken a while to find each other, but this Late Bloom, is a full flowered expression of bodacious bluegrass.

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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