Jack Grace Band

Jack Grace Band

BandAmericanaCountry

Jack Grace Band has been described as "weirdo country/rock that makes drinking and thinking fun. This music has celebrates the gloriful side of the down and out".

Biography

"NYC someday will brag about its great legends of country music. That's right we said country, and among those names will be the engaging, hardworking, witty, and schmoozin' and boozin' [Jack] Grace." – Village Voice

"Jack, with titles like these we should really get you into rehab."— Dale Watson
With a new CD titled Drinking Songs for Lovers, one might be forgiven for believing that Jack Grace should ease up a little. A singer, songwriter and guitarist who has made a career out of following no one’s rules but his own is probably going to keep doing his thing until his liver lays down the law.
He’s earned praise from press and peers, and even a couple of legends. Opening for Jerry Lee Lewis afforded him a quotable anecdote after Lewis, listening to the band’s set backstage at BB Kings in NYC, quipped, “he sounds like that Cash kid, only good.” After Lewis’ set, Jack shook his hand and told him it had been an honor to share the stage with him. Lewis leaned in and said, "I really enjoyed your set."
The Merle story is also a favorite chestnut. Jack flew out to California to the Mountain Winery to open for the country legend. After his set, Jack asked Mr. Haggard if he would autograph his well-traveled 1947 Gibson LG2. At first Merle objected, saying he couldn’t imagine that Jack would really want anyone to write on it. After Jack insisted that he was more than happy to have him do so, Merle smiled and lifted the guitar and examined it. "Hmmm,” he said. “Feels like there's a few more songs in this one.”
Jack actually came to the music thing a bit late. An aspiring actor, he didn’t even pick up a guitar until he was 18, and even then wasn’t very diligent about it. When it was time for his lesson, he often took off into the woods, leaving his teacher hanging. He eventually buckled down and learned it himself, his way, and for his own purposes.
This was an early indicator of an outlaw characteristic that has been one of the hallmarks of Jack’s musical journey: his knack for breaking the rules. How else to explain an impromptu launch into Led Zeppelin during one the bridge of a folksy acoustic number or adding a little “Rapper’s Delight” in the middle of another?
The answer lies with influences, as it often does with artists who don’t allow themselves to be pigeonholed. Some of his fondest childhood memories are of dozing in the back seat listening to Sinatra on his father’s car stereo. His earliest musical discovery involved a handful of Beatles albums among his parent’s record collection. An avid collector of Beatles memorabilia to this day, he still plays vinyl 45s of “Help” and “We Can Work It Out” after he’s had a whiskey or two. His teenage obsession with the Beatles got so intense that the mother of a buddy of his became worried about their friendship, saying, “A relationship shouldn’t be based on a rock band.”
Poor Neil Young was the next victim. Buying all of his albums wasn’t enough for Jack; he had to chase the man down after a show once. Probably looking like a wild man in a poncho, ripped jeans and moccasins, he threw open the door of Mr. Young’s tour bus, where the alarmed singer (who was holding a baby at the time), recoiled from the crazed fan who breathlessly told him, “Oh, I just wanted to shake your hand!”
It’s artists like Young, who have refused to be boxed in by any label, format or any other restrictions, that are the ones who’ve inspired Jack to move in any direction he’s wanted. He formed his first band in 1993 in Boulder, CO. Steak, an experimental, Zappa-flavored 4-piece, had an avid following in the West until the group officially disbanded in ’99. Frustrated by the restrictions of even an experimental outfit, Jack decided to go solo, working with a revolving group of musicians even to this day. Functioning more like a jazz bandleader, he has a main cast of characters but keeps two to three drummers on call at all times, all of who can be heard on his latest recording.
Upon releasing his first solo recording, Introducing the Songs of Jack Grace, many noted the songs had a decidedly country feel. “Fine, call it country if you want,” he said at the time. “What you label it doesn’t mean all that much to me.” What it really meant was that there were new rules to be broken. Country? Fine. Let’s do a concept album called the Martini Cowboy, and throw in a bossa nova number with lap steel front and center.
It worked.
Alan Young of the New York Press raved, "Big Johnny Cash-style baritone singer with guitar, backed by a tremendously versatile, honest-to-goodness country band. Grace’s writing draws from such diverse influences as Merle Haggard, Tom Waits, the aforementioned Mr. Cash and Willie Nelson, but what sets his songs apart from rest of the country or alt-country scene is his laugh-out-loud, absurdist wit. Not only is this a great party album and a great driving album, but it’s also very smart and very funny. Humor is a function of intellect anyway

Lyrics

Morning Margaritas

Written By: Jack Grace

MORNING MARGARITAS

In the peak of my February darkness
I knew I had to find the great escape
Tequila had been kind to me, it helped me though the night
I woke up with a taste for more and more I did not fight
When those Morning Margaritas treat you right

I know by now I should know better
Gettin' old don't always make you wiser
Why save all the greatest thrills for when the sun goes down?
Give yourself a fighting chance to sleep right through the night
When those Morning Margaritas treat you right

Good morning, morning, morning, morning morn
Good morning, morning, morning, morning morn
When those Morning Margaritas hit you right

Sorry you are under so much pressure
Workin' hard don't always lead to pleasure
The voice of reason's off the air, and satan's on the mic
Wake up at the crack of ice, sometimes can feel so right
When those Morning Margaritas hit you right

Good morning, morning, morning, morning morn
Good morning, morning, morning, morning morn
When those Morning Margaritas hit you right

If You're Gonna Raise A Drunk

Written By: Jack Grace

IF YOU'RE GONNA RAISE A DRUNK

Oh yeah it's a real hard job; a real hard job
Cause if you're gonna raise a drunk you might as well do it right
Teach him how to laugh and to always be polite
Make people smile and have a beautiful night
Cause if you're gonna raise a drunk
You might as well do it right

Teach him how to get home quiet, take off his shoes
Know when to shut his mouth so he don't look like a fool
Oh yeah it's a real hard job, a real hard job

And when the summer comes I like that beer by my side
Just to keep things moving along
A couple of mai tais and a Pu Pu Platter
At that place with the dragon in front
I like that frozen margarita while fightin' with the mariachi band
Somewhere in San Francisco

Teach him how to get home quiet, take off his shoes
Know when to shut his mouth so he don't look like a fool
Oh yeah it's a real hard job, a real hard job

And when the summer comes I like that beer by my side
Just to keep things moving along
A couple of mai tais and a Pu Pu Platter
At that place with the dragon in front
I like that frozen margarita while dancin' with the mariachi band
Somewhere in San Francisco

Cause if you're gonna raise a drunk you might as well do it right
Teach him how to laugh and to always be polite
Make people smile and have a beautiful night
If you're gonna raise a drunk
You might as well do it right

Oh yeah it's a real hard job; a real hard job
Oh yeah it's a real hard job
Oh yeah it's a real real real real real hard job

The Worst Truck Driver

Written By: Jack Grace

THE WORST TRUCK DRIVER

I got 18 wheels for every beer I had for dinner
And I'm gonna get some more at the station
I gotta stay on the road, the bears don't need to know
I'm gonna drink until my destination

My love life a little stark I found a pickle park
We got it on in a babboon butt
She was no seat cover, but I sure did love her
Commercial company you stole my heart

I'm the Worst Truck Driver in the whole wide world
That I even have a license is just totally absurd
I've lost more rigs than my stomach has rolls
I always smash through the gate rather than paying the tolls

I was haulin' frozen chicken when my rig caught on fire
And man, I hadn't eaten for days
The sizzlin' meat smelled boss, so with some BBQ sauce
I ate the chicken by the warmth of the flames

I heard the 10-70 to it was time to leave
I snagged a ride in a roller skate
Another 10-37 never learned my lesson
Another rig another time another day

I'm the Worst Truck Driver but I still find work
I back it down in the hammer lane just to be a jerk
I've lost more rigs than my stomach has rolls
I always smash through the gate rather than paying the tolls

On a Georgia overdrive it was a triple digit ride
And I did it in the granny lane
With my chicken lights a-flashin smashed a wiggle wagon
Sped past the coop right in the hammer lane

Too many eggs in the basket past the chicken coop
I knew there was a bear in the grass
I saw the disco lights had to spend the night
Snugglin' up with mama bear

I'm the Worst Truck Driver in the whole wide world
That I even have a license is just totally absurd
I've lost more rigs than my stomach has rolls
I always smash through the gate rather than paying the tolls

I got 18 wheels for every beer I had for dinner
And I'm gonna get some more at the station
I gotta stay on the road, the bears don't need to know
I'm gonna drink until my destination

I'm the Worst Truck Driver you could ever meet
Your stuff would get there faster if you left it on the street
I've lost more rigs than my stomach has rolls
I always smash through the gate rather than paying the tolls

Drinkin' and Gamblin"

Written By: Jack Grace

DRINKIN' AND GAMBLIN'

If you got to ask you ain't a from around here, this here gin mill's mine
It's been the anchor of this town since it first fell on hard times
I've seen the worst and served 'em more and peeled 'em off the floor
Even lost this place in a poker game but I won it back by morn

Drinkin' And Gamblin an tryin' to be happy
We've had some good times that's for sure
But we haven't won the war
Drinkin' And Gamblin an tryin' to be happy
We've had some hard times that's for sure
That's what the drinkin's for

This town is made of broken hearts and gamblin' makes us whole
Once in a while you gotta lose it all, just helps to cleanse your soul
Observed an man to drown himself I've seen a life destroyed
Threw a party when he divorced he was jumpin' round for joy

Drinkin' And Gamblin an tryin' to be happy
We've had some good times that's for sure
But we haven't won the war
Drinkin' And Gamblin an tryin' to be happy
We've had some hard times that's for sure
That's what the drinkin's for

Well I hope you have one in your town where you sit side by side
With the mayor the firemen and the local crew and have yourselves a time
Morning once again feels wrong still here's the life we chose
Woke up with a woman so strange and I can't find all my clothes

Drinkin' And Gamblin an tryin' to be happy
We've had some good times that's for sure
But we haven't won the war
Drinkin' And Gamblin an tryin' to be happy
We've had some hard times that's for sure
That's what the drinkin's for

Drank Yourself Into A Corner

Written By: Jack Grace

DRANK YOURSELF INTO A CORNER

Workin' hard at doing barely anything
Just sleep all day and head off to the bar
Slippin' through the cracks of people doing things
Workin' hard at nothing overtime

Sometimes the living's good down at the border
Drinking hard and sleeping all the time
The money's gone your woman's making other plans
Looks like you Drank Yourself Into A Corner

Facing all our troubles only made it bad
Just stick to what you know that you can do
Slippin' through the cracks of people doing things
Workin' hard at nothing overtime

Sometimes the living's good down at the border
Drinking hard and sleeping all the time
The money's gone your woman's making other plans
Looks like you Drank Yourself Into A Corner

Workin' hard at doing barely anything
Just sleep all day and head off to the bar
Slippin' through the cracks of people doing things
Workin' hard at nothing overtime

I suppose you'll be down at the border
If you want me I'll be on the other side
We tried so hard but now I need to save myself
Looks like you drank yourself into a corner
Looks like you drank your woman from the border
Looks like you drank yourself into a corner

Discography

Stayin Out All Night (2001)
I Like It Wrong (2004)
The Martini Cowboy (2006)
Drinking Songs For Lovers (2010)

Set List

We play a long time and have about 250 originals in the show and play whatever cover we feel like.
We will begin to add this set soon.