The Early Grace Band
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The Early Grace Band


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The best kept secret in music


"On Tour with Early Grace"

This is going to be a new feature for our GIGs columns, starting this issue we're going to be following Long Island bands while on tour. Later this year we will launch our "Aural Ambassadors of the Long Island Sound" endorsement deals.

The first band we followed on a short tour was the Americana band Early Grace who gained a slot on the Rhythm & Roots Reunion festival in Bristol, TN. The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion festival is one of the fastest growing music festivals in the country, spanning three days in the area of two city blocks in downtown Bristol with an emphasis on Bluegrass, Country and Roots Music. I can to put it in perspective picture something like the Huntington Fall Festival or Oysterfest here on Long Island but with the music being the focus and not a secondary factor.

The band invited me to come with them and document the trip. Along for the ride was "Luigi" Ferrari, my father who happens to be a big fan of Early Grace, and the manager of the Aural Fix Florida office.

On Thursday September 14th we loaded up the gear and left New York 10am admist rainy skies in a three car caravan. Armed with walkie talkies we kept in constant contact during the 10 plus hour journey to the town of Bristol which straddles both the states of Tennessee and Virginia.

We arrived late Thursday night and checked into our motel then scavenged to find a hot meal. Unlike New York, the all night diner was not to be found. Note to touring bands - either pack a grill or plan to get to your destination before 9pm if you want a hot meal. We did manage to find a Perkins which was open all night though after a few tries.

On Friday the actual event began at 6pm, but the band decided to come to town in the afternoon and do some recon to get a lay of the land. For the first show the band debated (rather heatedly) whether or not to play acoustic or electric. Many of the name acts were acoustic picker types and some in the band felt that the full blown electric set might be too much for the audiences. However the band was scheduled to play in a bar and not one of the outdoor street stages so they asked the bartender at the first venue they were scheduled to play at, Ireson's what would be better for their audience. He recommended electric for their audience. At their first night at Bristol, they played Iresons, a small but cool bar with a decent stage.

Luigi Ferrari skillfully acquired a hand truck from the bar and made for a much easier load in. At at 10pm with great trepidation Early Grace set up electric and ripped into their set. Both the staff and the patrons enthusiastically approved of the hard rocking Americana style of the band, which we had figured maybe had their fill of gentle finger picking and were ready to rock out a little harder as the night grew later. People danced, people even came in off the street. A couple came in to see them just because they read the Early Grace bio in the program.

By the time the band closed with their rendition of Janis Joplin it was clear that Early grace had just gained a larger audience in another state. Confirming this was the bartender Jen and the manger Chris of Ireson's who asked the band to come back and play again in a couple of months.

On Saturday my father and I went to seek some authentic BBQ while the band went to watch some of their favorites play live. Later on we met at the Green Room for some complimentary grub and beers, which the festival people kindly provided for the performers.

For their second slot at the festival the played played another bar called O'Mainons, where they once again rocked out with an electric set. The crowd was noticeably thicker this time out, apparently the word was out on Early Grace now. Later that night we returned to Iresons to watch friends of Early Grace, Barnhill Station play.

On Sunday once again the band returned to Iresons, though with a long drive ahead the band decided to go acoustic. This was decided as a both as a change of pace musically, and to make the set up & break down quicker. Even on the last day of the event there was still a lot of people milling about, going bar to bar and stage to stage. With the set completed, the band broke down and loaded up their gear. we said goodbye to our new friends in Bristol and made the long journey back to New York.



"Nashville Music Guide"

Barry Cassell of Nashville Music Guide declared, "Anna Elias-Bonet's vocals carry you through this music ride that will leave you wanting more at each listen. This album is fresh clean and worthy of being in my personal collection." - Nashville Music Guide

"Early Grace Live @ Vintage Lounge"

Also recently at Vintage was Early Grace, for the release of their new record. I had the opportunity to open that solid show, later taking in their original indie rock styling with a fresh ear. Imagine if the Replacements had Natalie Merchant as a front woman, and wanted to sound like The Band. Their music has been cleared for MTV's Parental Control, about Moms and Dads taking revenge on bad boyfriends. Hmm. Well, at least more quality Long Island music is finally making it onto MTV.

-Matt jasper - Matt Jasper for Inside Connection


Six weeks of working Early Grace to radio with Adam Lewis from Planetary Group, we were added at over 70 stations, about half of the stations we serviced! The overwhelming majority of those stations reported some level of rotation to us (over 50!). We have 26 college stations spinning us in medium rotation or better throughout the north and south east! Both Early Grace disc's "EP" and "Kick the Sky" were played on the MTV reality show "Parental Control", the single "Let Him Go" is a staple at the web radio station WCWP from CW Post College with host Mike Ferrari.



Early Grace offer an eclectic, if somewhat fairly straight-forward, rock/Americana blend; a foundation on which their key vocalist attempts to Kick The Sky, so to speak. Commanding that spotlight is vocalist and pianist Anna Elias, whose soaring, impassioned vocal shows hints of Caitlin Cary, Natalie Merchant and Susan Cowsill. Their downbeat mix of what they refer to as "Cosmic Americana Music" bears a swelling sense of yearning in Anna`s delivery. There are tales from real life, some of fiction, and some from the broken hearted. And one in particular, the Gram Parsons worthy "Tombstone Bound", that makes for a beautiful duet with Jason Ringenberg of Jason & The Scorchers. This one features some sweet pedal-steel and lovely piano work which adds much to the songs emotionally stirring sway

Barry Cassell of Nashville Music Guide declared, "Anna Elias-Bonet's vocals carry you through this music ride that will leave you wanting more at each listen. This album is fresh clean and worthy of being in my personal collection".