The Grandsons
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The Grandsons

Band Americana Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"Live at the Barns Vol. 2 review"

"How does the second installment of the Grandsons' 'Legendary Wolf Trap Recordings' differ from the first? Only the names change, really. A fresh and typically eclectic array of songwriters contribute to the set list this time around, but otherwise the performances are dependably lively, rootsy and affectionate." Mike Joyce, Washington Post - Washington Post

"Party With The Rich review"

"Occasionally innocent and yearning but more often clever, lively and amusing, 'Party with the Rich' is brimming with tunes that should delight fans of the Grandsons--or anyone else, for that matter, who enjoys vintage pop, country, rock, jazz and R&B sounds rendered with more affection than reverence." Mike Joyce, Washington Post - Washington Post

"No Depression"

"Bands like the Grandsons are a paradox; jealously guarded secrets and highly suggested listening. Incredibly intelligent but highly accessible." Christopher Porter, No Depression - No Depression

"Party With the Rich Review"

"Lyrically, it's tough not to smile or even laugh out loud. Take the title cut: sarcasm mixes with social commentary as we do exactly what the title's a fine opener. 'Hip Replacement' isn't about a body part. In fact, it references selling Blue Note albums for a quarter, which is why he needs the 'hip' replaced. These two are among several excellent originals. There are also inspired covers. How about Roger Miller's 'Trouble on the Turnpike' with a rollicking trade of eights between the guitar and sax? Smoky Robinson's 'In Case You Need Love' features a guitar figurea that becomes the song's primary hook. There's also stuff associated with Howard Tate and Allen Toussaint done up right. It's always fun to find a band that's a little off-the-wall and has great players. The Grandsons definitely fit the bill." - Vintage Guitar

"Live at the Barns Vol. 1 review"

"...The combo makes for a lively show as the recent disc, 'Live At the Barns', reveals. The horn is as important as guitar in the sum. The live disc pumps out hip shakers one after the other, as they roll through witty originals and old-time covers like "One Mint Julep" and "Scotch and Soda." Samir Shukla, Charlotte Creative Loafing - Charlotte Creative Loafing

"Pan-American Shindig review"

"To say that the disc is all over the map is to compliment the 'Sons on their musical versatility and smart egalitarianism. They call it roots-pop, and Shindig cavorts brightly from Western swing and rockabilly to New Orleans-style R&B to Tex-Mex and mambo--always with smiling wit."
Dave Nuttycombe, Washington City Paper - Washington City Paper

"Howdy review"

"Catchy pop songs with a humorous twist. The Grandsons' approach is goofy fun with an innocence and love for rock 'n' roll that reminds me of Jonathan Richman or the early Violent Femmes." Rounder Record Roundup - Rounder Records Roundup

"Pan-American Shindig Review"

"'Pan-American Shindig' is pretty much what it's cracked up to be: a hemisphere-hopping, honky-tonkin' good time. It's a barn dance waiting to happen...By celebrating both sides of the C&W equation, as well as reveling in Latin grooves and Chuck Berry riffs, the Grandsons make certain that 'Shindig' lives up to its billing." Mike Joyce, The Washington Post - Washington Post

"Band Profile"

"Talk about versatility! ...Underlying the diversity is a lighthearted spirit and joy in the music as on 'It Works For Me', 'Silly Dilly', 'Yodel Your Blues Away'; think of the Iguanas with a Marx Brothers attitude. The secret of their appeal lies in the exuberant lead vocals of Alan MacEwen and the double treat playing of Chris Watling who switches off on accordion and saxes." David Goodman, Modern Twang--An Alternative Country Music Guide & Directory - Modern Twang...

"New Orleans preview"

"A stock of well wrought original compositions makes for a sound that is inspired by the past, but not stuck in it."
Michael Tisserand, The New Orleans Gambit - New Orleans Gambit


Live at the Barns, The Legendary Wolf Trap Recordings Volume 2, 2006.
Party With the Rich, 2004.
Live at the Barns, The Legendary Wolf Trap Recordings Volume 1, 2002.
Pan-American Shindig, 1999.
It's Hip To Flip With..., 1995.
Howdy From..., 1991.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Things are going great for The Grandsons as they move and shake into their 20th year in the world of rock and roll. The roots rock quartet just released their 6th CD--Live at the Barns-The Legendary Wolf Trap Recordings Volume Two, and they're still reeling from the sold out CD-release show at Wolf Trap. Last summer, the band performed in Germany, and this winter will be heading to the Virgin Islands for a two-week tour. The Grandsons spent 2004/2005 promoting their nationally acclaimed fifth recording, Party With The Rich. Their previous studio album, Pan-American Shindig, spent ten weeks in the Americana Radio top-forty and their musical reach has extended further than ever. And in 1999, The Grandsons spent a month in Taiwan after being chosen by the US government as ideal representatives of America's celebrated musical style.

A fan aptly described The Grandsons exuberant sound as "American music in a blender with the lid off." The more prominent elements in this eclectic whirlpool are New Orleans rhythm and blues, rockabilly, swing and country two steps. After eight years of plying their pop sound around the country as Grandsons of the Pioneers, the group's increasing notoriety resulted in a high-noon showdown with singing cowboys Sons of the Pioneers, who balked at the idea of acknowledging paternity to a low down tuba-toting, sax-blowing rock and roll band. Counseled by their team of cut-throat lawyers to keep on playing rather than pause to litigate, the band shortened its name to The Grandsons and has been going full throttle ever since.

The Grandsons bring with them a pawn shop of instruments. Vocalist-guitarist-trumpeter Alan MacEwen charms audiences with his sly wit and winsome original songs; DC blues veteran Matthew Sedgley locks in the groove on drums and percussion. Saxophonist Chris Watling puts out a sound so meaty and memorable that he is in demand all over as a guest artist and session player.

Howdy from The Grandsons, the group's 1991 debut produced by ex-Slickee Boy Mark Noone was hailed by the Washington Post as "so free-spirited and so subversively anti-sophisticate that it's practically new territory." After catching a set at Austin's SXSW conference, Rounder Records quickly added the album to its mail order catalog, the Record Roundup. The Grandsons follow up, It's Hip to Flip with The Grandsons, showcased their maturing style with 11 new hard-hitting songs. It's Hip to Flip, which won a Wammie from the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA), received raves from the Washington Post and DC's City Paper. The Grandsons' third CD, Pan American Shindig, was released on their own label, Whirling House Records, in 1999. The disc has garnered rave reviews from the Washington Post and Washington City paper, as it explores Americana Roots Rock with originals and adaptations of obscure R&B tunes.

The Grandsons fourth CD, Live At The Barns--The Legendary Wolf Trap Recordings Volume 1, has just been released. Recorded live, in concert, at the Barns of Wolf Trap on May 5, 2001, the CD contains 15 songs never before released on Grandsons recordings. The songs were chosen from the Grandsons vast roots rock repertoire and capture the energy of a typical live show.

The Grandsons' popularity with so many different audiences has landed them on bills with national acts such as Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, the Iguanas, Terrance Simien, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Marcia Ball, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Paul Cebar & The Milwaukeeans, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Mighty Blue Kings, and Royal Crown Review. The group has been in the studio recently backing R&B legend Ruth Brown and Texas' Evan Johns for nationally distributed compilations. Based in Washington, DC, The Grandsons travel to perform in New York, Texas, and every state in between. In the Summer of 1999, the Grandsons made their first overseas performance; they were invited to play a three-week engagement in Taipei, Taiwan. The group has performed sold-out shows at the Barns of Wolf Trap, appeared at Austin's South by Southwest music Festival, The Rocky Gap Festival, The Bethlehem PA Musikfest, The Kennedy Center, and North Carolina's popular Black Mountain Festival and Bele Chere Festival, both in Asheville. The Washington Area Music Association has voted The Grandsons several Wammie Awards since the band started in 1986, in categories such as Best Roots Rock Group, Best Album Design, and Best Pop Group. No wonder the Washington Post called The Grandsons "the hardest working band in DC."