Rufus Grove
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Rufus Grove

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The best kept secret in music


"A RUFUS GROVE Homecoming Artimus Pyle & Asheville Band Return to Boone"

By Jeff Eason

Music fans in the High Country remember the Appalachian State University band Rufus Grove for its high energy concerts and laidback philosophy. The band picked up its stakes a few years back and relocated to Asheville but the college town of Boone has never strayed far from its collective heart.

“We all met each other in 1996 when we were living in East Dorm at ASU,” said Rufus Grove’s John Holder. “We formed the band shortly thereafter and started playing around town.”

The band will return to Boone for a special homecoming show a Murphy’s on Friday, April 30th. The show starts at 10 p.m. and admission is $5 per person.

Rufus Grove includes Holder, Jamie Dose, Mike Boling, Dorsey Parker and Davidson Wicker. Since Christmas of last year, the band has been performing with former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle.

“We met at a benefit show at the Orange Peel in Asheville,” said Holder.“ It was one of those Christmas Jams arranged by Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes. This was one of the ones in the south where local bands like Molly Hatchet came out to help out with the benefit. We met Artimus backstage and hit it off. We’ve been playing together ever since.”

Rufus Grove becomes the Artimus Pyle Band for those shows where Pyle is the headman, recreating the glory days of Lynyrd Skynyrd and southern rock. At other shows, it is a Rufus Grove gig, and Pyle becomes just one of the guys, adding percussion to their already rhythmic mix of classic rock and original tunes. A typical Rufus Grove set consists of jamband originals plus covers of songs by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder and Peter Gabriel.

Rufus Grove has just recently finished recording its latest studio album, tentatively titled Sanctuary. The album was recorded at Collapseable Studios in Asheville under the guidance of studio owner Aaron Price and Atlanta musician Dr. Dan.

The album is currently in the mixing stage and the band hopes to have it in their hands by the end of the summer. Before that happens, however, there is the matter of undertaking a nationwide tour as The Artimus Pyle Band. The next few months will see the guys hitting the road for gigs in Midwest and Florida before returning to Asheville.

“We just got back from Louisiana,” said Holder. “We’re trying to stay busy before our CD comes out. We hope to see a lot of our old Boone friends on Friday night.”

For more information, call Murphy’s at (828) 264-5117. - The Mountain Times

"Rufus Grove"

by Stacy Fentress

Rufus Grove is a band with an ambitious mission. Unlike many of us who go through life without a concrete idea of what it is we want to do, the members of Rufus Grove have figured it out and written it down. 

Quite simply, their mission is “to bring high energy music with a positive message to all people who come together to enjoy friends, spirits and the joy of dance and freedom.  Rufus Grove hopes that with a combination of music and love, we can create a FREEWILLED SPIRITUAL REVIVAL for the new millennium.” 

They are coming down the mountain from Asheville to share that mission with the people of the Tri-Cities this weekend.  They play O’Malley’s in Bristol on Friday, May 28 at 10 p.m. 

Band member John Holder says that their sound is best described as rock n’ roll, but that’s not all. 

“We draw from jazz, funk, country and southern rock and incorporate our own style into the music,” he said.  “We do a lot of improvisational jams in our performances, but I think Steve Winwood said it best at a recent show in Asheville [when he said], ‘Back when I started playing music, jam bands were just called rock n’ roll.’” 

Rufus Grove formed in 1997 at Appalachian State University in Boone.  North Carolina natives Holder, Davidson Wicker and Mike Boling met up with Dorsey Parker (from Georgia) and Jamie Dose (from Indiana).  The group moved to Asheville in 2000. 

They quickly went from playing parties to playing clubs.  A chance meeting with Artimus Pyle (formerly of Lynyrd Skynyrd) led to Rufus Grove becoming his backing band. 

Needless to say, they know a lot of Skynyrd songs and have been known to incorporate some into their own live sets.  This is one show where you can scream for Freebird and you may actually get it… 

“We tend to play usually 80 percent original and 20 percent cover songs, but every night is different,” Holder said. 

The cover songs they play run the gamut from Skynyrd to Peter Gabriel to Stevie Wonder to Radiohead.  A look at the list of covers they perform illustrates that this is a band full of music lovers who aren’t interested in musical labels or the latest fads. 

Right now, the band is excited about the CD they are recording with Dr. Dan Matrazzo at the helm.  Matrazzo has performed with Steve Vai and Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit and, according to Holder, has taught them a lot over the course of recording the album.  Tentatively titled Sanctuary, the album is due out by the end of summer. 

“This is the one we hope will get our foot in the door,” Holder said of the album.  “We hope to perform music for a living, to put it simply.  We would hope to strike a chord, no pun intended, with more people and to be able to play larger venues, as well as put out more albums and projects that people can appreciate.” 

For more information about Rufus Grove and to listen to some free music, go to .  And go see them at O’Malley’s Friday night.  For more information about the show, call 652-2995.  -

"Lineup promises variety – and spice!"

by Frank Rabey

Fans of that classic Southern-rock guitar sound, get thee to Rufus Grove . This friendly five-piece (vocals, guitars, bass, drums and keys) is now wrapping up work on its debut release with producer/keyboard kingpin Dr+Dan. The new album, recorded at Asheville's Collapseable Studios, reins in some of the former Boone-ites' serious onstage improvisations while retaining the Dixie-fried flavor that's the perfect soul food for post-Allmans jamheads. - The Mountain Xpress


2005 debut album "Sanctuary"
This project features producer Dr. Dan Matrazzo and the bands good friend Artimus Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) on select tracks.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Creating an exciting modern sound which draws from Rock, Funk and Electronica, Rufus Grove is a band known for having strong soulful songs combined with high energy musical improvisations.

Originating in the misty mountains of Boone, NC and currently centered in Asheville, NC, Rufus Grove has carved a niche in the regional music scene. Playing festivals, clubs, fraternity parties, colleges, and benefits Rufus Grove has built a strong fan base by continually touring and performing their original music. Rufus has performed at over 125 venues in 19 states all over the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest and has shared the stage with Particle, DJ Z-Trip, Lake Trout, The Recipe, Strangefolk, Jerry Joseph, Drivin ‘N’ Cryin and more.

In the summer of 2005 Rufus Grove released their highly anticipated debut album titled Sanctuary. This album was produced by Dan Matrazzo (A.R.U., Steve Vai) and mixed by the legendary David Z who engineered Prince’s Purple Rain and produced artists such as The Fine Young Cannibals, Jody Watley and Jonny Lang. Sanctuary also features the bands' good friend Artimus Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) on percussion. Sanctuary is currently receiving radio play in 15 states around the Mid-Atlantic and elsewhere. With the release of Sanctuary, Rufus Grove intends to bring their positive energy and musical passion to people all over the world.

In the fall of 2005 Rufus Grove was please to be invited to join Leeway's Home Grown Music Network. As Rufus Grove gains more experience and more support, the band continues to improve and refine their high energy peformances for an ever growing fanbase.

"We, the members of Rufus Grove, pledge to bring high energy music with a postive message to all people who come together to enjoy friends, spirits, and the joy of dance and freedom. Rufus Grove hopes that with a combination of music and love, we can create a FREEWILLED SPIRITUAL REVIVAL for the new millenium."