Grayson Hill
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Grayson Hill

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The RZA executive produced soundtrack to the #3 box office hit, and Miramax film DERAILED, soundtrack is due in stores November 22. RZA, who also stars in the movie, assembled a provocative cast of artist's for the soundtrack that gives adults a diverse range of eclectic stylized R&B and urban music that was inspired by the movie.
RZA brings this production to light with tracks from talented newcomers, Queen's native, Rular Rah who takes you on a gritty journey with his rap track "Johnny, " Thea, the Holland-born singer entrances you with her melodic, sexy sound on "I Love You" and "My Love, " Grayson Hill puts a urban blues spin on a remake of Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, " Maurice lends a seductive R&B sound to his adult themed tracks "Sabotage, " "I'm Sorry" and "Better Man." The soundtrack is a worthy listen for those who can appreciate music that they never saw coming from one of hip hop's most creative and influential personas. - New York- Business Wire-


When concert promoter, Peter Conlon announced last January that the much-loved music festival, Music Midtown was cancelled for 2006, many an Atlantan braced for the void left by such a dominating presence in the Atlanta music scene.

The cancellation was blamed on slipping profits for the festival’s last three years, due in no small part to the torrential downpours that seemed to accompany the talent-packed event.

So, I thought, without the pull of one of the most lauded music festivals in the Southeast, the amps would fall silent and the stages would go dark.

I thought wrong. Star 94 attempted to answer the sound check with Saturday’s Star Fest in Atlantic Station, and with it, there was once again music in Midtown.

Though on a much smaller scale, lasting only one day instead of three, Star Fest managed to pull in acts like Pink and Train, and dedicate a stage to many of the local Atlanta favorites, such as Last November, Poolstick, Grayson Hill, Beyond Tomorrow, and 13 Stories.

It now seems like a familiar song to anyone that has attended an outdoor concert this time of year, but rains threatened to drench the concert-goers before the sun even went down. After a few, short showers, the weather held out for the rest of the evening. Phew...we dodged the raindrops.

Our website, 11alive.com, streamed the local talent stage live to those who weren’t able to get tickets, or didn’t want to take a chance on the weather. But for those who did, it was definitely worth it, they even got bright orange parkas from the Star 94 crew to keep them dry.

As the bands played in the grassy quad, children played and tried to stand on their hands with parents looking on and nodding their heads to the music.

Those that wanted to dine in style while they watched the festivities sat on the outdoor patios at the restaurant, Spice. Star 94 took over one of the restaurants top balconies to broadcast live.

The bands, undeterred by the earlier rain, stayed on schedule and the next band up was ‘Grayson Hill’. Now later in the evening, the crowd thickened.

The golden-haired front-man had a strong voice, and the backing vocals were nicely in sync. The band had tight composition and catchy verses that could easily earn them airplay on the radio.

Atlantic Station was definitely abuzz. As I left, most of the outdoor tables were full as people dined and sipped cocktails at the various eateries lining the quad. I was sad to go, but I enjoyed the bands I got to see. You never know here in Atlanta, they just might be the next big thing!

While the future of Music Midtown, or any festival like it, remains uncertain, one thing I think we all can agree on, is that Atlantans do love their music.

Star Fest offered people a chance to get out, enjoy Atlantic Station and hear some great music for free. The weather held out for the most part and the sun went down with people smiling and enjoying life.

I guess where there’s a will, there’s a way and Star Fest proved that there will always be a way to hear good music in the heart of Midtown. - Leigha Baugham / WXIA 11alive.com


Current Issue: VOL. 2 - NO. 8 August 15th – September 14th, 2006

Grayson Hill
Statesboro, Georgia
I-95 Productions
www.graysonhillmusic.com
www.myspace.com/graysonhill
SInger-Songwriter/Rock

By: Melody Geear
Two songwriters armed with guitars, a harmonica and a piano, this duo has taken their experience on the college circuit and turned it into a successful record deal with a loyal and much deserved following. This duo has been blessed with remarkable talent and the much sought after radio-ready sound that makes their music so infectious. Taylor Mullins and Griffin Hamsley are polished, charismatic and truly entertaining; Unrefined brilliance in its truest form.

When listening to some tracks for the first time, I immediately felt as though I had stumbled across a diamond in the rough, with a vivid and clearly perfected sound. After further discovery, it turns out that Grayson Hill re-recorded Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” for the soundtrack to the major motion picture, “Derailed”. Not to mention the fact that the track was produced by multi-talented and much respected RZA. It’s apparent that the duo is off to a raging and astute start to a successful career.

As for the music itself, “Unbreak Me” is an instantaneous hit, with smooth guitar rhythms and strong vocals. Coupled with thoughtful lyrics and highly-flavored vocals, this duo is a multifaceted talent with staying power. “Heather” brings in down to a smooth acoustic medley of thoughtful lyrics and expressive melodies. And for my personal favorite, “Ode to You” is a sensitive and raw track. It’s a reminder of internal choices one must make to become the master of one’s own destiny.

Overall, Grayson Hill’s sound reflects the smoothness and impressionable sound of such artists as Stuart Mathis and John Mayer. With the perfection that they possess, there is not one bad or constructive critique that can be given. With drive and determination this duo maintains, Grayson Hill will definitely be around for years to come and will continue to influence all generations of musicians.

- Melody Geear


Grayson Hill brings its poppy acoustic sound to Fort Valley's Austin Theatre tonight.Acoustic duo Grayson Hill have seen their folk-tinged pop take them beyond the Statesboro venues where they got their start.

Taylor Mullins, 27, of Chattanooga and Griffin Hamsley, 23, of Perry have only been playing together since the summer of 2005.

"Before that, we'd sit in with each other, " Hamsley said. "We were both doing solo stuff in the same style, really."

After a short tour together, the two decided to combine forces to become Grayson Hill. Soon after, they hooked up with a production company and have been gigging all over the country, though largely in the Southeast.

Opening slots for artists like Corey Smith, whom they regularly play with, has brought them a larger fan base, Hamsley said.

"Actually our fan base is bigger in Atlanta than it is in Statesboro right now," he said.

Already they've had a song - a cover of Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" - appear on a movie soundtrack, 2006's "Derailed." That gig found them working with Wu-Tang Clan impresario RZA.

"Our manager told us to get it done anywhere we could, so we went to this tiny little recording studio in Statesboro," Hamsley said. "I think it turned out pretty good."

This year they released their first EP, "Home," and hope to finish their first full-length in Philadelphia later this year.

"This is the best work that either of us have ever done," he said.

The two trade off writing songs and have some collaborations as well.

Their sound is definitely poppy, with nods to singers like Dave Matthews and John Mayer.


By Maggie Large
TELEGRAPH STAFF WRITER
- Macon Telegraph


Things are going well for Taylor Mullins and Griffin Hamsley.

Their band, Grayson Hill, has a new CD out, "Home." They're on the road several nights a week. Their CD release party at Retriever's on Saturday, Jan. 13 packed the house, bringing in visitors from as far away as Florida.

"It was flattering that a group came down from Chattanooga," Hamsley said. "That's five-and-a-half hours just for our CD release show. It means a lot."

Life's all right for Grayson Hill. Start them talking about the life of a gigging musician, and they'll share a stream of road stories, featuring characters from disgruntled boyfriends ("their girlfriends got jealous while we were playing," Hamsley explained) to posssibly-psychotic sound engineers in Auburn, Alabama.

The group's been through some changes in the past months, like becoming a duo after working as a trio.

Hamsley and Mullins were guarded, and almost diplomatic about handling the departure of vocalist Scotty Cram.

After the group recorded its first album in Los Angeles, their dynamic began to change.

"Ultimately, our musical direction wasn't going the same path," Hamsley said.

"The music was going in two different directions," Mullins said.

The pressures of life on the road as a touring musician didn't help, either, Mullins and Hamsley said.

Cram helped bring the group together. After Mullins graduated in 2004 he hooked up with Cram and started performing.

"I didn't have anything else to do, and didn't know what to tell my parents," Mullins said.

The two then brought in Hamsley, who was absorbed into the band after performing with the group on tour as a solo act and also as a guest performer with Mullins and Cram.

The three are all still friends, Hamsley and Mullins said.

Grayson Hill's new disc, "Home," was recorded in August and September in Philadelphia. The six-song EP is a strong mix of modern rock songwriting, with catchy hooks and top-notch production.

Mullins and Hamsley listed a number of influences on their writing — most with a strong acoustic and "Americana" vibe.

The duo worked on the album with Scot Sax, a grammy-winning composer known for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw's "Like We Never Loved at All."

Grayson Hill is represented by I-95 Productions, who are marketing the album.

In the meantime, the band is touring and planning on performing at several record label showcases in May in Philadelphia and New York.

"I'm ready to get this new CD out. I'm ready to see what people think of it, since it's a different sound than what we've done before," Hamsley said.

Their incessant touring schedule is helping them build a fan base. Opening for established acts has helped, too. The group has performed with Corey Smith, Zac Brown and Angie Aparo, just to name a few.

"I used to think that opening up was horrible, but when you get a crowd there, you sell a lot of CDs," Mullins said.

"It's just like climbing up the ladder," Hamsley said. "You've got to do the same things they had to do to get to where they are."

Building a fan base is important for any group, and Grayson Hill recognizes the work that goes into real-life public relations.

Mullins shared some wisdom he attributed to Matt Mays of Jupiter Coyote: "Fifty percent of the battle is playing a good show, and 50 percent of it is after the show hanging out. Every person just wants a second of your time."

After speaking with Connect Statesboro on Tuesday, Jan. 16, the two were heading out to Charleston for a show.

Mullins and Hamsley play more than 200 shows a year, averaging about 15 a month.

"Last August, we had 22 shows," Hamsley said.

After a week of playing, Grayson Hill comes back home to Statesboro. Mullins is originally from Chattanooga, and Hamsley from Perry. The two have spoken about moving to Atlanta, but they're happy in Bulloch County.

"Rent's so cheap here," Hamsley said. "I'm happy where I am right now."

The duo said their songwriting is collaborative. They came from separate writing backgrounds — Hamsley put out a solo album, and Mullins put out a disc with a group before Grayson Hill.

"We had a lot of songs that kind of crept up," Hamsley said.

"Some of our older songs that I didn't like in the past, or he didn't like, I'd play it for him, he'd play it for me, and we'd realize we liked it."

Each will come up with ideas separately, but the magic happens when they work together, they said.

"Griffin pulls me back from wherever I'm drifting to," Mullins said.

Grayson Hill will return to Statesboro in February for shows at Dingus MaGee's and Retriever's.

For more information on the band, to hear tracks from "Home" and for their touring schedule, visit graysonhillmusic.com or myspace.com/graysonhill.
- By Jake Hallman


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