Mike Grill

Mike Grill


Grill writes tight, intelligent rock songs with a focus on good hooks. Lyrics are engaging, subversive, and often politically charged, yet vague enough for listeners to apply the tunes to their own experiences while still tapping their feet. These songs will appeal to the AAA radio crowd.


With an ear on the past and a focus on the present, Mike Grill and the Downslope create modern roots rock. The 27-year-old Grill writes tight, catchy, and often politically charged songs that meld alt-country, folk, indie rock & blues. There„Cs edge, intimacy, intelligence and soul. Grill's expressive vocals range from raspy whimpers to booming roars - ensuring that each song is felt by the listener as much as it is heard.

A native of Chicago, Grill was playing blues harp with top notch acts like Sugar Blue, J.W. Williams, and Carl Whethersby while still in his teens. At the same time, he developed a reverence for the lyrics and wit of Bob Dylan and for the melodic skill of John Lennon.

After spending a few years with the Chicago-based outfit Rebecca„Cs Statue, Grill stepped away from performing and touring to focus his efforts on serious songwriting. During this time he crafted a style that incorporates the most raw and real elements of roots music while still connecting to a contemporary audience. The resulting songs feature strong hooks and pop sensibility without the slick polish. His engaging and sometimes subversive lyrics force listeners to notice their surroundings and examine their place in the word, while the beats and melodies help them almost forget it all.

An adept solo-acoustic performer, Grill is just as comfortable leading the Downslope through a high-powered electric set. The acoustic/electric dichotomy allows Mike's songs to take on new life. "Just because the song structures are in place, doesn't mean the interpretations can't change," he says. "The songs may lose their intimacy when I play with the band, but each song communicates a new set of emotions when it's channeled through additional musicians."

The musicians comprising the Downslope are all veterans of the Chicago scene. They include former and current members of Rebecca's Statue, Cornmeal, & Majors Junction. The band deftly steers song dynamics from loud & upbeat to intimate & introspective and back again.

After more than ten months of stockpiling songs and handpicking his band, Mike Grill has once again take the stage. Currently, his eight-song demo, entitled One Eyed Jack, is available at www.livinliverecords.com. A full length release is expected on Livin¡¦ Live Records in late 2004.


One Eyed Jack

Written By: Mike Grill

Don’t leave the party when you’re just getting warm
I’ll take a cab and you hold court till dawn

But I could slow the pace
To time without the haste
The lies float from your face, they leave their trace
They move so easy - so easy

And time will kick you back one day
I don’t need to change your ways
Live and die the same damn way you choose -you choose

Your shoes are shined, your suit’s a perfect fit
You like looking down but not the thought of it

But I could steal your grace
And leave you with the waste
Sugar without the taste just takes up space
It’s all too easy – easy

And time will kick you back one day
I don’t need to change your ways
Live and die the same damn way you choose -you choose

There ain’t no king that can beat this one-eyed jack
Each way you count ‘em, you add up to a hack

But I can play my ace
And blow apart your case
Arsenic without old lace is out of place
It’s all so easy – so easy

And time will kick you back one day
Sky will change from blue to gray
You’re the reason I won’t stay round here – round here

Just the Way It Is

Written By: Mike Grill

You’re sad the weekend’s over.
It’s alright; I’ll come over
Night lights are nice at night.
I’ll be yours if you want tonight

Your naked body feels good next to mine
Please let me know when you feel lonely next time

It ain’t good, It ain’t bad
It’s just the way it is
I just wished that my life was his

Came by to say”what’s up”
Time’s OK but it screws things up
Like how you’ve changed the place
A different guy and a different pace

The picture frames by your bed haven’t changed
It’s just the pictures themselves that seem strange

It ain’t good, It ain’t bad
It’s just the way it is
I just wished that my life was his

I should be leaving soon
We had the night now it’s almost noon
So much room on the floor
but that bed up there means so much more

Your deep shag look so good on your face
Maybe another night I’ll sleep in his place

It ain’t good, It ain’t bad
It’s just the way it is
I just wished that my life was his

Ain't Waitin'

Written By: Mike Grill

I’ve got both feet out the door babe
This time I’m gettin’ far away
You won’t be callin’ me no more, no
Tellin’ me to come on back and stay

You say you don’t know what you want girl
We’ve climbed this hill before
You’ve kicked me down so many times now
I’ve learned not to climb no more

Well next time that you look at me
I hope it pains you to see what you see
‘Cause I ain’t waitin’ for you to change your mind no—no- no

I know you’ll come around for sure girl
And want me back in a day or two
Well I've packed up all my things babe
But the weight I’ve left with you

CHORUS (same as above)

Well you drove us to the brink
Now you’ll have so much time to think
‘Bout how it feels To grow old alone

I’m heading west beyond the mountains
Where I won’t have far to fall
Your memory acts like your reflection
I keep drivin’, you keep getting’ small

CHORUS (same as above)

‘Cause I Ain’t Waiting for you to Change Your Mind - X2


One Eyed Jack - EP

Set List

Set lists typically average one hour, but can range anywhere from 30 min. to 3 hours. Set usually consist of a 70/30 original to cover split, with more covers added to the 2 to 3 hour sets. Covers include songs by Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Wilco, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, David Gray, The Beatles, and the Rolling Stones among others.