Pretty Gritty
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Pretty Gritty

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Duo Americana Country


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




What do you expect when you go to a live concert? Do you go for the concerts that are more of a show or do you prefer the up close and personal gigs with the band who is more worried about the music than the backdrop of their stage? If you like it up close and personal, then Blaine and Sarah is the band you want go see. The duo played Friday, February 11th at a bar in Fredrick, Maryland called “The Cellar Door.” After reading this review, if you appreciate good, correction, GREAT music, then you better be asking only one question, “When do they play next?”

Blaine and Sarah, is made up of Blaine Heinonen and Sarah Wolff of Rockville, Maryland. They have been playing together around two years now, and let me just state that I hope, and you should hope, that they continue to play for years to come. Ridiculous, is one word that stands out when I reflect upon their talents, both vocally and with their instruments. Their sound can be described in a few different ways ….Country, Soul, and Folk. Their “weapons” of choice are two acoustic guitars and a Djembe Drum. Sarah strums the Martin Acoustic, and Blaine is armed with the Gibson Acoustic. There songs vary from just one singing to both of them performing a duet. There shows have varied from a full band show, to just the duo performing an acoustic gig.

On Friday night there gig was a three hour set. The set averaged with about 25-30 songs, with 5-7 original songs. A great cover song that stood out was a duet, with two songs mashed into one, “Im Yours by Jason Mraz, and “No One by Alicia Keys.” Being able to mix two songs to make it sound like one song sound that good, just shows the talent they have. In regards to their originals, well what can I say…….hmmm let me think……..ok got it, EPIC! The originals they played were “Scorned”, “Old Train Whistle”, “Out in the country”, and “Cheating Ways.” These originals are evidence that I can comfortably say that Blaine and Sarah will be huge one day. No doubt about it.

In the end, I can go on and on about their show and talents, but the only way you can really believe me is by seeing them yourself, which I highly recommend. I suggest the sooner the better because they are going to be huge any day, and I know I would love say “Hey I saw them perform once before they got big!” You won’t be disappointed, guarantee. Since you are about to ask “When do they play next?” I’ll go ahead and fill you in. Their next show is March 12th, 8pm, at Rockafellas Bar and Grill in Gaithersburg, MD. See you there. - The Lantern - Ohio State University

"Musical 'opposites' Blaine and Sarah mix for soulful Americana blend"

Soulful Americana -- that's how Blaine Heinonen and Sarah Wolff describe their music.

"It's what's coming out of us," Wolff said.

Wolff, 30, lives in Gaithersburg and Heinonen, 29, lives in Rockville.

Blaine and Sarah, an acoustic guitar and singing duo, play together in the Washington area.

They'll play their bluegrass and rockabilly-inspired music, beginning at 10 p.m. Friday at The Cellar Door Restaurant in downtown Frederick. The duo will also play April 22 in Monkey LaLa's, 9009 Baltimore Road, Frederick.

For them, the magic of their music is in the way opposites attract.

"His harmonies help add a bottom to my vocals," Wolff said. "He's the opposite (musically) of me."

Heinonen said, "She's my sandpaper; she gives (the music) a rounder, softer edge."

The two have sung together for two years but have known each other longer. They met about five years ago when each's band played during the same show. As it turned out, the two bands broke up at the same time. They went to open mics and tried out for "American Idol" together.

"He even got feedback from the judges," Wolff said.

Wolff said she was too nervous, but they plan to tryout for another show.

"We're following Simon (Cowell)," Heinonen said, joking.

Cowell was a British talent judge on "American Idol."

Wolff and Heinonen were picked to play on the main stage at the We R Indie Music Conference in August in Knoxville, Tenn. They sent in one of Wolff's original songs.

"She's a great songwriter," Heinonen said. - Frederick News Post


The River EP - March 2014
Pretty Gritty (Self Titled) - Album June 2012|
A Long Time Coming - EP March 2011



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Pretty Gritty is the serendipitous joining of the talents of Blaine Heinonen and Sarah Wolff, both raised in Montgomery County, MD. Although they originate from different rock bands, fate brought them together at local "open-mic" nights, where it became evident that they shared an interest in writing and performing songs that mix country, rock, blues, and soul. Its said that she brings the "pretty" while he brings the "gritty", combining for an engaging alt-country duo with seducing harmonies and addicting acoustics.

Both Sarah and Blaine are multi-instrumentalists who incorporate acoustic guitars, tenor banjo, ukulele, various forms of hand and foot percussion and big, beautiful vocal harmonies in to their live performance.  They never cease to amaze their audience with how big their sound is while only being a 2 person act.  

In five years, Pretty Gritty has cultivated a unique sound allowing them to open for such acts as Tim O'Brian, Tony Trischka, Chris Eldridge, Josh Gracin, Larry the Cable Guy, and Lake Street Dive at renowned places like Jammin Java, 8x10, Frederick Gone Country, the Virginia State Fair, and the Charm City Folk and Bluegrass Festival.

Pretty Gritty's debut album, featuring Keller Williams, won three IMC awards in 2012. Their outstanding live performance has earned them a reputation as a must-see musical act.

In September of 2013 Blaine and Sarah returned victorious from their first (completely DIY) National Tour and finished up their third recording project entitled "The River EP". This third recording project was made possible by their amazing fans and supporters via Kickstarter and is getting lots of radio play in Portland on stations such as KMUZ and KINK Radio.  In May of 2014 the duo decided to relocate to Portland, OR.  At first they hit the streets, busking downtown at the Saturday Market but it didn't take long for folks to realize what a special act they really are.  Pretty Gritty are now playing at venues all over Portland (including Alberta Street Pub, McMenamin's White Eagle, Lola's Room...), continuing to turn heads an gain fans wherever they go.  Do yourself a favor, catch a live show and experience Soulful Americana at its best!

Band Members