The Grand Nationals
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The Grand Nationals

Newtown, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Newtown, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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



"Local Band Spotlight: The Grand Nationals are a band of brothers"

There's nothing more enjoyable than sitting down at a bar with a group of guys, who happen to be talented musicians playing together in a band, and picking their brains. There's nothing more refreshing than those same guys sharing the respect they have for the music they make, who they make it with, and who they're making it for. These are their stories...

Newly formed in 2010, The Grand Nationals is the brainchild of long time musical comrades Adam Honeycutt (vocals, guitar, organ) and Ian Bennett (vocals, guitar, percussion). Both Honeycutt and Bennett had been working towards solo projects but eventually came to the realization they might have something special in collaborating together. With this, they brought in Sam Barnes (vocals, violin) and Jay Harris (bass) and it was official.

Considering their newcomer status, The Grand Nationals are clearly not green in the field. Every member of the band has journeyed through the musical landscape from production and engineering to demos and record deals. Because of their experience, it seems collectively, they know what they want in their sound and they respect the way each member contributes to that, particularly when it comes to writing. Honeycutt explained,

“In a very cool way, Ian's always been a great lyricist and I have focused more on the music. Ian really got me to think lyrically about being more real and not worrying so much about every word and if it sounded good or bad. He really helped me open up to what we were trying to do.”

Honeycutt and Bennett discovered that their combined appreciation for singer-songwriters and ballads contributed a new dimension to the original concept for The Grand Nationals, which was an authentic old country band. With each of them writing both the music and the lyrics, inspired by the likes of Van Morrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan (amongst many others), they resurrected the spirit of folk, country, and southern rock while still staying relevant to a burgeoning indie scene. Honeycutt continues,

“We're still willing to experiment, so we're going to try different things when we play, particularly live. We want to try to make something where we're a gang, not like the Backstreet Boys, but like the Beatles, where we sing some tunes, [Sam and Jay] sing some, and we're just a bunch of guys playing some songs at a party, but like really good songs at a really good party.”

Philadelphia based promoters, R5 Productions, said their sound is Ryan Adams meets the Allman Brothers, but as Honeycutt has admitted, with Andy Keenan featured on the steel pedal and Barnes on violin, the sound definitely retains its country twang. Bennett adds,

“Sam adds a lot on the record and at the live show to what the band can do musically...he's undeniably great at the doesn't hurt to have someone whose a monster at his craft playing right next to you.”

As it would seem, they're continual focus on honing their craft keeps them on their toes and has propelled them to finish their first album which is likely to drop this Spring. As recently as December, they opened for Bon Iver's Sean Carey at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia and they are booking shows both in and outside the city. With such a short time together as The Grand Nationals, it's likely that their success up to this point cannot only be credited to talent and expertise, but also a mutual respect for what they're creating and who they're creating it with. -


Tennessee Rain LP (2011)



The Grand Nationals released their debut full length "Tennessee Rain" in June of 2011. They sold out of 2 pressings of the record and are gearing up to record their follow up release(Sept. 2012). Recently, Boyd Tinsley and Jeff Coffin, both of Dave Matthews Band, sat in with us for our set at the Theater of Living Arts in Philadelphia, PA. We have a song that was put into a movie(The Oranges, coming out this Fall), and have opened for some big name acts. We are currently working with Red Light Management and looking to start extensively touring at the end of this year.

Adam Ray Honeycutt and TJ deBlois were both a part of the band Like Lions that was signed to Jive records, a major label. They toured with bands like The Starting Line, Copeland, Circa Survive, Days Away, Pink Spiders, Cartel,and many, many more. The Grand Nationals is a lighter version of the singer/songwriter style of Like Lions, and we love bringing this music to new audiences!