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Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Americana Rock




"Critic's Picks: FrazierBand"

ohn Frazier is one of those musicians who can rack up a solid set of accomplishments — playing in John Cowan’s band, co-writing with Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers and co-fronting the underappreciated Hit & Run Bluegrass, for starters — while somehow remaining relatively unkown. That should change with the release of the self-titled Frazier Band album, on which he’s joined by the likes of brilliant fiddler Shad Cobb, Sam Bush Band banjo player Scott Vestal, percussionist Bryon Larrance and more. Frazier’s compositions, which account for most of the album’s material, are nicely executed blends of jazz, string band music and more, and both the picking and the singing are top-shelf. The group is shooting a video, so they’ll be putting on a lively show, and they might even supply a free beverage or two to put you in the right mood.
— Jon Weisberger - The Nashville Scene

"Stepping Up and Passing it On: John Frazier debuts FrazierBand"

About two years ago, John Frazier was gigging at the Station Inn in Nashville. Sitting right there, in the audience, was John Prine. Just hanging out. A few songs into it somebody asked Prine, “John, do you want to get up and sing?” And Prine said, “Yea.”

“The thing that struck me was that he was just so cool, totally at peace with himself as an artist, and at peace with himself in the band,” says Frazier, the summer season opener May 13 at the Rooster’s Wife in Aberdeen, NC with Lizzy Ross opening the show.

“That’s what’s great about living in Nashville; the opportunity to be mentored.”

Frazier, 31, has been mentored by, co-founded, sided, or played hired gun to a chill-raising list of players in both traditional and improvisational bluegrass circles: Jim Lauderdale, Steep Canyon Rangers, John Cowan, Bela’ Fleck and more.

By the sound of Frazier’s new project, Frazier Band, he’s picked up a few things from Grappelli and probably Grisman. John Cowan’s Americana-soul sound clearly has its influence too; inevitable since Frazier is Cowan’s mandoline player in the John Cowan Band.

And if you recently saw Cowan at the Rooster’s Wife, come back. Frazier has some songs of his own for you.

Talking from his home town in East Nashville, TN, Frazier has a hand in several projects these days, the big three being Jim Lauderdale Bluegrass Band, John Cowan Band, and the newest debut, Frazier Band.

The transition from sideman to front man has Frazier flipping through a rolodex of memories: the mentoring moments, playing with guys like Prine, and riding in the family car and listening to his uncle’s favorite John Prine tunes. And, later in high school when Frazier started writing and collaborating with musicians in Colorado.

“Around 14, playing music with my friends was very natural. We’d just hang out and play and wrote a lot of songs together,” Frazier says. “I really wanted to recapture that experience in Nashville. I want to get back to that youthful energy.”

Early exposure to Phish and Dave Matthews Band in high school prepared Frazier to understand what New Grass Revival was trying to do, he says.

“Cowan, Sam Bush and Bela did New Grass Revival in ‘89 and jam band music really peaked in the ‘90s. Bela and Sam were taking long improvisational breaks, long before jam bands were even at their peak, but that’s exactly what they were doing,” Frazier says.

Listening to Frazier Band, you’ll hear a touch of that jam band influence, hemmed in by Frazier’s years of experience playing with some of the tightest, innovative players in the bluegrass, soul and americana genres.

Today Frazier freely gives away some of that good advice he’s been given. We asked him what he tells other musicians who are struggling to get started. There’s some great advice in there, no matter what your calling.

He’s just doing what he’s been taught: Stepping up, and passing it on.

Try and depressurize it. Don’t worry about it so much, you can get consumed with anxiety, and you don’t do anything.
Try to do one little thing, each and every day. And if you don’t want to work on your business that day, don’t. You have to keep yourself sane.
Ask yourself, “What can you do in the next 2 hours to feel like you took a step forward in your business?”
For some people the answer is to write more, not work on the business at all. So do your art. Don’t worry about some of the other stuff. Just be who you are.
If you were at the John Cowan Band show recently at the Rooster’s Wife, you likely saw Frazier as one of the hired guns in Cowan’s project. Come back and make John Frazier feel welcome Sunday, May 13 for his new project debut. It’s Mother’s Day. Bring your mom. - The Rooster's Wife


According to John Frazier...

The original inspiration for 'The Rod & The Cane' was from watching an important person in my life who found themselves constantly struggling in life with no ultimate reward. It hit me hard and this song embodies my empathy for the hardships endured throughout. It surprised me how effortlessly the song came together -- once the idea popped into my head, it all poured out in the purest way. I absolutely adore the way the guys played on this track, which was done in one take. John Cowan's harmony vocals are a dream come true! I guess this song was quick to write, a joy to record, and if every song I wrote and recorded were as smooth and fun as this one I'd get a lot more done! Which is, ironically, almost the total opposite of what the song is about. - Huffington Post

"Preview the New Track, “The Rod and The Cain” from FrazierBand’s Forthcoming Album!"

Summer isJohn Frazier A Shot (1) here, and everyone is scouring their music collections for the perfect summer playlist. Breezy and fun is the name of the game, but balancing it out with some weighty lyrics will carry it on into the fall and winter months.

Nashville’s FrazierBand has what you need with their latest single off of their forthcoming album, Some People Change. “The Rod and The Cain” is the perfect song to crank up with the windows down, the pulsating mandolin overlaid with cool guitar tones. Fronted by acclaimed bluegrass multi-instrumentalist John Frazier (Del McCoury, John Prine, Bela Fleck), the group is finishing up their second studio album with Daniel Rice (Cadillac Sky). Look for the full release this September. - Broken Radio Magazine

"FrazierBand's Progressive Bluegrass Single & Forthcoming New Album"


May, 2015, Los Angeles, CA: John Frazier, the multi-instrumentalist Nashville-based founder of FrazierBand—a freewheeling quartet putting their distinctive spin on progressive bluegrass--is putting the finishing touches on their new album, FrazierBand: Some People Change, the follow up to their eponymous 2012 debut. Consisting of Frazier on vocals, mandolin, guitar and fiddle, banjo players Matt Menefee and Kyle Tuttle and drummer Jim Kittleman, FrazierBand have evolved into a more cohesive band having honed their chemistry through an exhaustive touring schedule—over 125 dates from 2013-2014 (an energy captured on their explosive 2014 recording Live at the Five Spot). The band recorded their new album in East Nashville with producer Daniel Rice (Cadillac Sky) who helped take their progressive bluegrass/rock hybrid sound to a new level. The first single from the album “The Rod and The Cane,” (listen to it HERE) will be released to radio later this month.

FrazierBand : Some People Change will be released in September. - The Blues and Roots Music Blog

"[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Stream FraizerBand’s Cover of “Mother Nature’s Son”"

In promotion of the upcoming sophomore release, FrazierBand: Some People Change, acclaimed Nashville multi-instrumentalist, John Frazier is continuing the journey in hybrid bluegrass with his FrazierBand project. The band features Frazier (vocals, mandolin, guitar, fiddle), banjo players Matt Menefee and Kyle Tuttle, and drummer Jim Kittleman, who joined together in 2011 to release their well received self-titled debut. In anticipation of the release of the new album next month, the band asked us to exclusively premiere one of the new tracks, their awesome take on The Beatles’ “Mother Nature’s Son.”

When asked about the choice of the song for the album, Frazier tells us, ““I’ve always been a Beatles fan, since I was about 10 years old listening to “Help.” The albums that really stuck with me through the years are Let it Be, Abbey Road, and the White Album. When I was in the pre-production phase of this new FrazierBand album, my manager challenged me to find a cover that we could do in a unique way that would fit with the scope of the band and the sound that I was after. I have always loved the song and I actually think of it as a country song, particularly the lyrics. Working on the arrangement, I found a way to put a country/train beat behind it so that it would groove, and also a fiddle solo in the middle. I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and especially with the interplay between the vocals, fiddle, and flute. I feel lucky to be able to record it, and if Sir Paul is ever listening and digs what he hears, tell him I said “thanks and call me anytime.”

We’d imagine Sir Paul will have the same adoration for the cover that we do. Head below to have a listen to “Mother Nature’s Son,” and keep your ears tuned for one of the freshest sounds to come out of Nashville in some time. - No Country for New Nashville


FrazierBand (2012)
Live at The Five Spot (2014)

Some People Change (2015) 



John Frazier, a musician's musician known for his brilliant mastery of the mandolin, guitar and the fiddle, has created an entirely new sound, developed by combining past musical influences of bluegrass, rock, and roots music, into what is being penned as "the best new music from Nashville in years."  He brings a powerful, eclectic history as an acoustic and bluegrass performer into his leadership of FrazierBand. Moving to Nashville in the winter of 2006/2007, the veteran musician quickly established himself among Music City’s elite acoustic performers.  

Frazier’s earlier group Hit & Run Bluegrass made history as the first band to win both prestigious band competitions at Rockygrass (2002) and Telluride Bluegrass Festival (2003). One of the state’s most electrifying acoustic touring acts, the group brought its all-string, “authentic yet modern” bluegrass throughout the U.S. and Canada, including top festivals like Grey Fox and High Sierra. In 2005, they also won first place at the SPBGMA Band Championship in Nashville and showcased at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual conference.

In addition to scoring plum spots in newgrass ensemble John Cowan Band and Grammy winning Jim Lauderdale Bluegrass Band, he toured and performed with bluegrass legends Del McCoury, Tony Rice and JD Crowe as well as newgrass pioneers Sam Bush and Bela Fleck. John’s other newgrass influences are: Jerry Garcia, Paul Simon, Bill Monroe, Marty Raybon, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Little Feat, Paul Brady, The Bothy Band, and many other great artists from both the US and UK.

In 2009, Frazier toured with film and comedy legend Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. During the tour, Frazier, Martin, and the Rangers co-wrote the song “Go Away, Stop, Turn Around, Come Back,” that Martin recorded on, Rare Bird Alert.

John has performed at venues all across the U.S. and overseas. These include the Grande Ole Opry, The Kennedy Center, Telluride Bluegrass Festival (four times), Merlefest, Bill Monroe Memorial Bluegrass Festival (Bean Blossom), Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, The Station Inn, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Royal Festival Hall in London. He has also appeared on “Later with Jools Holland” on the BBC, and nationwide in the US on manyl PBS broadcasts.

John Frazier has further developed his freewheeling musical creativity with FrazierBand, a group he launched in 2010. The multi-talented singer/songwriter and mandolin, guitar and fiddle master spent a whirlwind two years and 125-dates on the road with acoustic and electric banjo players Matt Menefee and Kyle Tuttle and drummer James Kittleman.

The group continues to solidify their inventive mix of rock and newgrass via the infectious hook driven pop tunes from FrazierBand, their critically acclaimed 2012 debut album. The Nashville Scene said, “Frazier’s compositions, which account for most of the album’s material, are nicely executed blends of jazz, string band music and more, and both the picking and the singing are top-shelf.” 

While showcasing Frazier’s wide ranging skills as a vocalist and on mandolin, guitar and fiddle, the group’s last album Some People Change featured some of his most compelling original tunes ever. He has penned the spirited, “The Rod & The Cane” as a song of encouragement to a friend going through some intense life struggles, but it became a personal cathartic journey as well.


Band Members