Grand Marquis

Grand Marquis

 Kansas City, Missouri, USA

The Grand Marquis are a distinct and hearty blend of American roots influences: blues & prohibition-era jazz; weaving old stories in with new tales for the 21st century.


"This band plays as if the joint was literally on fire" - Billtown Blues Association

"Completely begs to be played loud, it begs to be danced to!" - Boston Blues Review

"Few bands have more fun - or produce more joy in an audience - while onstage." - Jason Harper, Pitch Weekly

"moving the genre forward into the next century" - Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes

"a well-greased time machine from futures past" - Kelly McEniry, University of Missouri-Kansas City MARR Sound Archives

2014 Best Blues Self-Produced CD Finalist - The Blues Foundation

2013 Best Blues Band Finalist - The Pitch (Kansas City, MO)
2012 Best Blues Band Finalist - The Pitch (Kansas City, MO)
2012 International Blues Challenge Showcase Artist
2011 International Blues Challenge Finalists
2011 Best Blues Band - The Pitch (Kansas City, MO)
2010 Topeka Blues Society IBC Contest Winners
2007 Best Jazz Band - The Pitch (Kansas City, MO)
2006 Best Jazz Band - The Pitch (Kansas City, MO)
2006 Best Local Band - The X Entertainment Magazine (Kansas City, MO metro area)

Over the past 14 years the Grand Marquis have logged more than 1700 performances, as far-flung as Seattle to South Beach Miami, but often in the midwest where they call Kansas City home.

The Grand Marquis' music can bring to mind a variety of settings and places as well: Prohibition-era KC, the streets of New Orleans, 1950's Memphis and even 1930's Paris. But their sound remains grounded in a roots influence that keeps inspiring the Grand Marquis to create, innovate and build off a solid foundation of American music. Theirs is a style that defies the limitations of category, whether jazz, blues or swing, yet finds favor with a wide audience culturally, demographically and inter-generationally.

Blues And Trouble 2013

For this new album, the group trots out a dozen original tunes to go along with one cover, a swinging (of course) version of Jerry Lee Lewis Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On. The original tunes are pretty noteworthy, too. The opener, Bed of Nails, mixes profound lyrics of regret with a manic horn chart with some searing slide guitar work from Ryan Wurtz, while Every Days The Same has a definite Crescent City bounce. Reputation is a minor key blues that features a nice vocal turn from singer/sax man Bryan Redmond. The title track is in the same vein with a sweaty, late night feel to it.

Additional highlights include Youre Still My Baby, another New Orleans-flavored tunethis time with a Dixieland beat, the jazzy Ironclad Alibi, the dazzling swinger Two by Two, and the impressive slow blues, Easy to Be the Devil, with some splendid slide work from Wurtz. Each member (Redmond vocals, sax, Chad Boydston trumpet, Wurtz guitar, Ben Ruth upright bass, sousaphone, and Lisa McKenzie drums, washboard) gets ample opportunity to take the spotlight on most of the tracks, and they sound fantastic.

The grand Marquis' latest recording is "The Sun Session:" seven songs recorded on February 1, 2011 at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, TN. Included in the session are new original songs "The Jungle" and "Easy To Be The Devil," never before recorded. By contrast the original composition "Bad Dream Blues" has evolved over the last decade into the version you hear today. "I'm A Wine Drinker" is an obscure Tiny Grimes jump blues spiced up with some alternate lyrics that really lends itself to the early Sun sound, as does the popular ballad "That's My Desire." Classic Sun songs "Mystery Train" and "Tiger Man" are melded into one rollicking number, and the session is rounded out by the ubiquitously joyous "When the Saints Go Marching In." Interestingly enough, Ben Ruth is the first sousaphone player to record at Sun, and it was discovered later that "That's My Desire" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" were among those played during the legendary December 1956 "Million Dollar Quartet" jam session.

Their fifth recording "Hold On To Me" (2010) follows almost three years behind their last, "One More Day." In that time we can hear the band continue to mature and broaden their focus a bit, while staying right in their wheelhouse: swinging, bluesy 'party' jazz. Their original material (such as Night is For Lovers) stands solidly besides jazz classics (Exactly Like You) and forgotten gems (The World Is Waiting For the Sunrise). Sultry songs (Sway) bump into low down blues (St James Infirmary Blues) and Dixieland stomps (Milenberg Joys). This is definitely a recording to hold on to for years to come.


Hold On To Me (entire cd)

Written By: Track Listing

1) Night Is For Lovers
(B Redmond/Grand Marquis) ASCAP

2) The Spider And The Fly
(Myra Taylor)

3) Topsy
(E Durham, E Battle) ASCAP

4) Hold On To Me
(B Redmond/Grand Marquis) ASCAP

5) Sway
(P Ruiz, N Gimbel/Grand Marquis) BMI

6) The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
(G Lockhart, E Seitz) PD

7) Ain't No Good To Me
(B Redmond/Grand Marquis) ASCAP

8) Exactly Like You
(H Fields, J McHugh) ASCAP

9) St James Infirmary Blues (I Mills) ASCAP /
Still Blue Water (Myra Taylor)

10) Milenberg Joys
(P Mares, W Melrose, F Morton, L Rappolo) ASCAP

11) Dinah
(H Akst, S Lewis, J Young) ASCAP

12) After You've Gone
(H Creamer, T Layton) PD

13) Good Rockin' Tonight
(R Brown) BMI

Produced by Grand Marquis
Recorded January 9 & 10, 2010 at Westend Studios, Kansas City, MO
Additional recording & mixing at Weights & Measures Soundlab, Kansas City, MO
Recording Engineering & Mastering by Duane Trower
Cover photo by Aaron Bales, New Vision Photography, Kansas City, KS
Graphic Layout by Jason Bays
Special thanks to Bette Boydston & Family for their donation to this recording
Made in the USA


Blues and Trouble (2013)
The Sun Session (7" Vinyl & CD/CD ROM) (2012)
Hold On To Me (2010)
One More Day (2007)
Grand Marquis (2004)
Le Chant Du Diable Blue (2002)
Burlesk (2000)

Set List

Aint No Good
Wine Drinker
After Youve Gone
All of Me
Bad Dream
Bed of Nails
Beyond the Sea
Careless Love
Cointreaus Raid
Come RainORCome
Dark Eyes
Easy To Be The
Empire of Dirt
Every Days The
Exactly Like You
Good Rockin
Half The Money
Harlem Nocturne
Hold On To Me
Ise a Muggin
If Youse a Viper
Ironclad Alibi
Is You Is...
Jump Back Honey
Hand on the
Kiss of Fire
Kissing A Bottle
Lester Leaps In
Locked Down
Mardi Gras
Milneberg Joys
Minnie the
Mr Williams
Mystery Train
N.O. Bump
Night Is For
No More Worries
One More Day
Paseo St Strut
Piney Brown Blues
Pretty Good Love
Route 66
Safronia B
St James
St Louis Blues
Telephone Call
from Istanbul
Thats My Desire
The Jungle
World is Waiting
for the Sunrise
Two By Two
Whole Lotta
So Nice to Come
Home To
Youre Still My