The Grasstronauts
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The Grasstronauts

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Americana Bluegrass

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
10
The Grasstronauts @ Division Ale House

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jul
25
The Grasstronauts @ Jerry's Sandwiches

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jul
18
The Grasstronauts @ Jerry's Sandwiches

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Once upon a time, loyal reader, (December, 2012 to be precise) The Grasstronauts was one of our featured bands in the magazine. So when I heard that the band has a new EP available, I was anxious to check it out. Not just because the band is that rare musical breed – a string band – but also because it is a really good band.

It doesn’t take long to figure out that everyone in this band knows how to pick with the best of them. Focus on any one of the instruments in this song and you’ll hear that these guys are impressive. The mandolin and banjo move the song along at a good pace, while the guitar is a bit more like a rhythm instrument in this song. Then it’s all wrapped up with a bass line that is sure to get your toes tapping.

The sound of this band reminds me a lot of Yonder Mountain String Band. It is a sound that is both traditional and modern. Also on this album, the band sings about a theme sometimes visited by YMSB (like “Holdin’”) with the song “Reefer Roach Blues.”

Now, if you’ve ever read this blog before, you know that I am a sucker for a song with a good message. On this EP, that song is “Tiny Pebbles.” Just dig these righteous lyrics.

Realize with life there is no winner of the race

There’s no need to worry on and on

Time will fly on by before you know it is gone.
See what I mean? Righteous. It’s a message we probably all need to hear repeatedly. After all, a message like that never gets old, and we humans frequently forget messages like this one.

Intergalactic Freedom Fighter is a great example of what an EP should do. It gives you a good taste of the band, but still leaves you wanting more. If you’re a fan of string bands, and Yonder Mountain in particular, this EP will fit perfectly in your collection. - Incognito Music, Models, and More


It's funny that the city of Chicago is actually a bluegrass-laden village of love. Well, it always feels that way when you're at a bluegrass show at least. Everyone knows each other, at least for those hours, and everyone's celebrating one mutual friend: the music, as we forget the day's troubles and give into carefree dance. Chicago has always been thought of as a blues city, but if you think of it bluegrass is not all that different in its essence, even though its therapeutic roots lie in rural Appalachia.

Musically, they both borrow from jazz improv, use similar scales, and pass the melody around in group play. Sociologically speaking, both genres' lyrics and inspiration for creation are pretty parallel. Struggles with money, family, love, aging, addiction, purity, sin, loneliness, hope, power, and difference are transcendent across the human condition, and even time really. In that simplified skew, maybe it seems to make sense that Chicago has become host to a similar culture of people who have been creating and dancing to some really good bluegrass output over the years.

Built upon the rich foundation of Alligator Records, Cornmeal and Sexfist /The Henhouse Prowlers, and encouraged to evolve by newer festivals like Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival with headliners like David Grisman, Bela Fleck, Emmitt-Nershi Band, and many more, Chicago has been really fortunate to have such a diverse selection within the bluegrass genre in which to kick up some dirt. Recently I had the distinct pleasure of checking out the quickpicking Grasstronauts at Tonic Room and they were phenomenal. A classic acoustic bluegrass sound, with swift dexterity, melodic sound, and just offering an overall good feeling like when you first feel a sip of spicy wassail trickle down and warm you up on a cold winter's day. - Chicago Now: By Peapod Mcgee


I’ll come right out and say it. I dig bluegrass. I know. A lot of people have something against the banjo. I don’t Between a friend of mine and the Bluegrass Preservation Society podcast, I’ve found a lot of groups I like.

The Grasstronauts may not sound like your granddad’s bluegrass (it’s more similar to Old Crow Medicine Show), but these guys know what they’re doing with the banjo, guitar, bass, and mandolin. There is some good pickin’ on the four songs of this EP, particularly on “Miles and Miles”. If you like string bands, I think you’ll enjoy this one. You’ll especially enjoy this band’s version of the classic “Mountain Dew” (recorded by Grandpa Jones, among others). If you are one of those people who is a little afraid of banjo music, let go of your fear and embrace The Grasstronauts. - Incognito Music, Models, and More


Discography

The Grasstronauts EP

Photos

Bio

"The Grasstronauts may not sound like your granddads bluegrass,but these guys know what theyre doing with the banjo, guitar, bass, and mandolin." - Gary Schwind: Incognito Magazine

The Grasstronauts have never fit neatly into one specific genre.  While bluegrass may be the basis, it's clear their sound is anything but traditional.  Blending elements of bluegrass, rock, jazz and a number of other influences they bring a high energy sound of their own. 

Armed with guitar, banjo, mandolin and bull fiddle, The Grasstronauts create a powerful sound that is constantly evolving.  "We're always trying to work in new things," says guitarist Lee Syrjanen. "There are songs we've played from when the beginning started we'll go back and add upon."   

Based out of Chicago, The Grasstronauts have been fortunate enough to play various music festivals, clubs and bars.  Their unique sound draws people in quickly and engages them until the very last note.  With each member having different backgrounds The Grasstronauts are able to bend genres and provide an experience unlike any other.

"We've always done things differently," says Syrjanen.  "We've had good luck that people have enjoyed what we've done this far. There are certainly new and exciting things on the horizon."  

For booking information contact "thegrasstronauts@gmail.com".