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The best kept secret in music


"The Future is Bright"

Since moving to the area some six months ago, no band that plays regular shows in town has caught my attention more than Grayson has. My first Grayson experience involved the members of the band hopping on stage with another band to play a honky, white bread version of "Gin and Juice." After that I was hooked.

The group, which consists of Mike Gleason, Matt Gray, Jason Paulson, and Paul Stibal, takes aspects of nearly every kind of music and wraps it into a tight musical package; a package that will be delivered this Thursday night at the Red Carpet.

Rock, country, southern rock, and rockabilly sounds are regularily heard coming from the stage at a Grayson show. And just when you think you have the group's sound narrowed down to one specific genre, they come back with a song that sounds nothing like the one prior to it.

The group started in 2000, has produced three EP's and is playing over 150 shows every year. They have become regulars on the Minneapolis scene and share the stage with mainstays like GB Leighton, Tim Mahoney and Dazy Head Mazy.

Long-time fans of the Minnesota music scene should quickly be able to draw comparisons to some of the biggest names of the past decade or so. The group's ability to hop from rock to country and back again is reminiscent of the Gear Daddies and the way they control the crowd and harmonize reminds many of the early days of Dazy Head Mazy. Tough shoes to fill, but Grayson shows no signs of slowing down.

Nearly every time I'Ve seen the group play live they have had the crowd, which increases in size every time, in the palm of their hands. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, band and fans alike seem to be having the time of their lives.

No experience would be more representative than the last time I saw the group at the Carpet. It was a Thursday night and I had hoped to interview the guys. Unfortunately for me, about 75 rabid fans had the same idea of talking to the group. Mission aborted.

As if the first set, which included a mix of original songs and covers, wasn't enough to get the crowd riled up, Gleason and Paulson came out to lead a group sing along. Amazing renditions of Jason Mraz's "Remedy" and Simon and Garfunkel's "Me and Julio......." whipped the crowd into a frenzy that only a handful of groups are able to do. It was at this point that I realized I had no chance of fighting through the mob to conduct an interview. Mission aborted again.

It's stories like this that I feel are truly the mark of a great live act. People can tell you about albums and awards, but if you haven't experienced it for yourself, you;ll never understand what the fuss is all about.

I will tell you that Grayson is currently in the studio working on its full-length album, which will hit shelves later this year. If that's not soon enough to whet your appetite, check out the group's website at to download songs off of their three previous efforts.

One listen to these older recordings makes a person eager to hear what the new stuff will sound like in the studio. While older songs like "5 Days" and "Water Street" are fun to listen to they don't compare to the new tracks like "Mississippi", which was the one new original that I made sure I caught a title for. It's an amazing tune that talks of the virtues of growing up in Minnesota. This is one show that you can't pass up. Whether your bag is rock or country or you just want to watch a band jam and have fun, Grayson has something for everyone. - What's On Tap

"Grayson CD Party to Rock Carpet"

Grayson's new album, "Any Direction But Home," features fast love songs, said Jason Paulson, who sings, plays guitar and wrote all of the songs for the album.

"This album was written about a girl," Paulson said. But don't expect too many ballads; Paulson likes to keep the music sounding fast and happy - even when he's writing about the more depressing side of love.

Doors open at 8:30pm for the band's CD - Release party Saturday at the Red Carpet Nightclub. Cover is $2.

Paulson's plans involve becoming a rock star and continuing to entertain audiences with his original material and Grayson's amusing country renditions of rap songs (Think "Baby Got Back"with a twang.)

"It's kind of fun to take a song and make it your own," said the 28 year old who grew up in Minnetonka.

"I just like making people happy", he said.

Visit for information about the group - St. Cloud Times

"News Details"

How would you describe Grayson as a band? What audience do you believe your genre of music appeals to? Who do you most sound like?

Band: Grayson is a group of friends that became a family through our love of music. Every one of us has a different style and personality (for the most part) yet we all share a common passion for our original music. We come into our own and don't let outside interferences get in our way. We all understand and respect each other, which is what our foundation is built on.
Matt: I would like to add that Grayson as a band has gone through several stages (loss of a drummer and 1 singer) since its beginning in 2000; however, through the changes Grayson's bond has grown tighter, oru music hsa grown, our three part harmonies still remain as well as our three songwritiers. This is a testament to our determination to share our music. We love performing live and we love meeting fans. You can see tha tby looking at our schedule. I would describe Grayson as Hippie Pop Rock w/ a side of jam. Is that a category?
Jason: To answer that Genre of music we are, or what we sound like has always been a hard question for me because we do step into so many genres. I hear most often that we sound like an organized jam band. I also get told that we sound a lot like O.A.R. It's hard being a songwriter cause I think every songwriter thinks his/her music is different... so we all start making up genres. I'm no different. I'd have to say that we're pop rhythm & groove.
Matt: We hope that we appeal to everyone, although we know that is not possible. At this time, we haven't really thought about that question with direct intentions in our writing.
Jason: We just write & play songs that we enjoy and just hope there are people out there who enjoy what we do. Everyone is welcome.

What influences did you have growing up? Describe the road taken to get to the point where you are now.

Jason: Well, my grandpa, my dad, and my uncle Stymie, all played in bands as I was growing up. So, I had Jazz & Big Band influences coming from my grandpa, I had old country & rock from my dad, and my uncle plays in the Daisy Dillman Band. They were signed with RCA and toured with Marshall Tucker and numerous other southern rock bands. I definately get my love of harmony from my uncle. My uncle Kev had a lot to do with my style today. I spent countless weekends driving up north and listening to bands that I still love today. I think we've taken a lot of wrong turns & hit some dead ends to get to the point where we are now, but I think we're on the fight road... and interstate now with no plans on slowing down.
Matt: I did not come from a musical family. So, my influence came from radio, MTV, and friends. When I was younger I listened to everything from Fleetwood Mac to Tool. I also really liked Gangster Rap and Hip Hop because of their ability to articulate stories and words. My biggest influence is learning the guitar is Jason Paulson and his family. Jason and I have been playing and writing songs since the mid-to-late eighties. Lately, my influences are more towards songwriters and singers. Adam Duritz from Counting Crows is my all-time favorite songwriter. I agree with Jason's comments aobu tus taking alot of wrong turns and finding some dead ends. That's what you get when you're young and driving with the headlights off and a car full of friends. Fortunately, we were able to keep the car on the road.

Grayson 4 "Any Direction but Home", was a clear success... How do you feel about the music on that CD and where did some of the songs originate? Also, Shine came in at #9 under Billboard's Independent Music Compilation of the Hottest New Music. What were your reactions to this accomplishment, how did Shine come about, and what does the song signify?

Jason: I like the music on 4. There are some good things and some bad things, but you will always have that with any album. The songs pretty much came from a breakup. It was the most beautiful heartbreak I have ever felt. She inspired me so much that she is the reason for Grayson 4 and many other songs. She is still a beautiful person and a great friend. Still, one look at her could inspire a song. She is a magical person. The main reason I love the music on Grayson 4 is because it proved that I loved someone with all my heart once. Love is the point to life and I have it on CD to remind me. I think it's great that "Shine" made the Billboard Independent Music compilation, but it is really our booking agent, Doreen Clark's accomplishment. She made it happen. We owe her so much. My whole reason for life is to love, to feel love, and to show love. Whether it's for seconds, minutes, hours, or lifetimes, I believe it's the reason we are here. "Shine" proves I have loved someone with all my heart & sour - which means I have had a reason for my life.

Your band prides itself on playing 150+ shows a year. How do you - Fresh Tracks Music


Grayson 5 (Limited Quantity EP) "Party CD" 2004

Grayson 4 Any Direction but Home 2004 (Full length)

Grayson 3 , 2002 EP

Grayson 2 , 2001 EP

Grayson 1 , 2001 EP


Feeling a bit camera shy


Grayson played more than 200 headlining shows last year throughout the Midwest and beyond. They played live on FOX News, were seen in Billboard Magazine, and had their single "Shine" featured on the Billboard CD as "One of the best Independent bands in the country"..... They played for two weeks in Mexico and one week in Colorado for Spring Break 2005. Grayson has opened for the Bodeans and is requested at prime festivals and venues throughout the year. Grayson released their last full length release, Any Direction but Home, in April 2004, and will be going to Pachyderm in October to record their next full lenght album. Great things are expected from Grayson in the coming year.......... Catch them while you can!