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"Biotic album review"

By Jedd Beaudoin

Mar 8, 2007
Biotic — Grazgrove

Camp Holla, 2007

Four Stars

This Kansas City jam-based outfit certainly knows its way around a groove as evidenced on the opening “Between the Screens,” a seven-minute, organ-infused number that has as much in common with Phish as it does Tea Leaf Green. There, as on so many of the other tunes found here, the quintet — guitarist/vocalist Chad Brothers, bassist Greg Herrenbruck, drummer Nick Grebel, keyboardist Grant Haun and multi-instrumentalist Grady Keller — leans on the muses of rock ‘n’ soul and comes up with richly-realized and potent musicality that will leave listeners in a haze of happiness. - The Wichita City Paper, Wichita, KS

"Triumphant return - Grazgrove back after hiatus"

After a six-month hiatus, Grazgrove returned to the stage Saturday with a show at Pat's Blue Rib'n Barbeque, 1200 Moro St.

The members of Grazgrove met in the residence halls during their first year in college, said Chad Brothers, guitarist and vocalist for the band. The friends learned they had a talent for music and began jamming together, Brothers said.

Grazgrove officially formed three years ago and performed its first show at Pat's in March 2003, Brothers said. In addition to Brothers, Grazgrove consists of Greg "Dorf" Herrenbruck, bass and vocals; Grady Keller, rhythm guitar and vocals; Nick Grebel, drums; and the newest member, Grant Haun, keyboards.

Brothers said Grazgrove is influenced by all types of music, but especially by bands and artists from the Grateful Dead era. Each member brings his own personal taste to the table with favorites ranging from hip-hop to bluegrass.

"I come from a heavy roots-rock background," Brothers said. "We share a common appreciation for a lot of the same bands, but we all bring different influences to the band and our performances. We don't want to be pigeonholed as a 'jam band.'"

Grazgrove's live performances consist of spontaneous improvisational jams that, according to the band's My Space Web site, "will carry you into next week. No boundaries, no expectations ... just pure rock and roll. Grazgrove will bend your mind a little to the left."

A love for similar bands is what ultimately brought Haun to begin performing with Grazgrove.

Haun said he had his first experience with alternative music when he attended a Phish concert in 2000. From that point on, Haun said he attended as many shows as possible, especially those of bands like String Cheese Incident, moe. and Widespread Panic. It was at these shows where Haun said he became interested in playing the keyboard.

"I was very drawn to (the keyboards)," Haun said. "I talked to String Cheese Incident's sound guy at a couple of shows, and he was very responsive to the questions I had about that instrument."

In 2002, Haun said he bought a keyboard even though he didn't know how to play it. He began playing around with it at his house and eventually began jamming with Grazgrove. It was then that he became a permanent member of the band, Haun said.

When performing, Haun said he has a specific sound in mind that he wants to emulate.

"I really like the vintage sound of people like Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea," Haun said. "I try to have equipment that can emulate that sound."

Six months ago, Grazgrove decided to go on hiatus from performing in order to have time for their personal lives, Haun said. During this break, the band took weekend excursions to a cabin in St. Louis, Mo., to write new material and refine its sound.

"I feel we are in a good place right now," Haun said. "I'm proud of the new material that we have; we're exactly where I want to be."

Cole Freeman, Manhattan resident, first saw Grazgrove two years ago at O'Malley's Alley, 1210 Moro St. Freeman said when he heard that Grazgrove was performing again, he wanted to check it out.

"They were hot when I heard them two years ago, and they were just starting out," Freeman said. "They were really great; they threw down. They can certainly jam with the best of them. I am really excited to hear them again."

Grazgrove will perform a run of shows until June 3. The band will perform in Lawrence and Kansas City, Mo., and will facilitate a camping extravaganza, Brothers said. The tour will end on June 3 with a show at P.J.'s Bar, 1129 Laramie St. The band also has had some time in the studio and would like to have an album completed by the end of summer, Brothers said.

To find out more about Grazgrove, go to or - Kansas State Collegian

"Turning Tree Festival features bands jamming for charity"

Some local bands will be jamming in City Park tomorrow.

The Turning Tree Festival will feature several jam bands playing to benefit the Flint Hills Breadbasket.

Grant Haun, keyboardist for Grazgrove, said all of the bands have close ties to one another and have been playing together at different gigs and events for the past four years.

Haun, who is putting together the event, named the festival Turning Tree because he said he wanted it to represent the beginning of the fall season. It is the first year for the festival.

The festival benefits the Flint Hills Breadbasket by collecting canned food from people that come," Haun said, We would like to make it into an annual event."

Haun said Grazgrove has been playing for four years, even though he just joined the band last January.

"We play a style of music called jam. It has influences of funk, rock, reggae and pretty much a little bit of everything else,"? Haun said. "It is also based off improv, so every song might sound a little different each time played."

Bands Mother Kali and Buck's Barefoot Rebellion both feature percussionist Clint Hutchens.

Both bands actually have the same drum setup, but with different lead singers," Hutchens said. Mother Kali has an Eastern Indian influence with a Russian, tribal beat, and a folk bass.

"Buck's Barefoot Rebellion is more of a singer songwriter base sound with influences from Jack Johnson and Paul Simon. It has a more acoustical sound than Mother Kali, and also contains a flute player,"? Hutchens said.

Hutchens said he hopes that the turnout will be good with the upcoming football bye week.

"It should be a really good time to check out some local music that all bands have roots from Manhattan."

For Eclectic Carnival, band member Tom O'Toole said that Turning Tree is a great way to encourage people of Manhattan to come out and support the local music.

O'Toole, who plays multiple instruments such as the mandolin, keyboard, and beat box, said he relies on several pedals and switches to record and loop his music while going from instrument to instrument.

"I play one instrument at a time, but the looping allows me to layer the music to produce one sound at the end," O'Toole said.

"I believe playing at the festival is just a great way to connect to the community, and by helping out another cause." - Kansas State Collegian


Grazgrove's frist album, Biotic, will be released in January of 2007. The album was recorded at Chapman Recording Studio in Kansas City.

In 2005 we released Burnt Cuts through our own production company, Camp Holla Productions.



Grazgrove initially started out in Manhattan, KS at Kansas State University...the evolution of a group of friends. The ties of this band date back roughly ten years. Very early on, these guys quickly realized that a common denominator in their friendships was a love for music.

In the early years, this group of musicians would often times set up shop with beer and acoustic guitars on an apartment deck after coming home late night. Sooner or later, these friends started meeting other friends who enjoyed jamming as well. Open mic nights were formed, new instruments and sound gear was slowly acquired...

As time went by, the influences and musical interests grew and changed. So did the musicians that played together.

In early 2003, Grazgrove was officially formed. Electric rock began to work it's way into the style, starting out by playing covers, mainly of the Grateful Dead. In early March '03, the very first gig as Grazgrove was performed at Pat's Blue Rib'n in Aggieville...a staple venue for Grazgrove. The band kept on...practicing in basements, metal storage sheds, and living rooms. As shows were performed around the Manhattan area, friends, fans and followers began to develop.

Sometime between late '03 and early '04, the band members began finishing up school, migrating over to the Kansas City area, and started making new friends and fans. The band continued writing new original music, and leaning more heavily on those original tunes as each new show was played. Much has happened since that time, and Grazgrove has had the opportunity of playing in many different cities in the region.

Today, Grazgrove is a fully original 5-piece rock band. Having just finished up the production of their first-ever studio album, Biotic, this band is on the verge of entering a new level of performance and musicianship. One that is exciting, not only to the fans of Grazgrove, but to the band itself.

It's up to you, the listener, on what you take from the Grazgrove musical experience. But when all is said and done, the music Grazgrove creates is a reflection of the chemistry of true life.