The McGrath Project
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The McGrath Project

Santa Clarita, California, United States | INDIE

Santa Clarita, California, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Pop


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The McGrath Project @ The Cellar/All Corked Up

Santa Clarita, California, USA

Santa Clarita, California, USA

The McGrath Project @ Courtyard by Marriott

Valencia, California, USA

Valencia, California, USA

The McGrath Project @ The Roxy Theatre

West Hollywood, California, USA

West Hollywood, California, USA

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Popular Santa Clarita Valley rock band The McGrath Project has just signed a three-album recording deal with Brooklyn West Records, a division of Universal Records.

The band -- featuring Gary McGrath, Ann-Marita, Dean Minnerly, Matt Fullove and Ryan Roberts -- will write, record and release three albums worldwide in the next 18 months.

"It feels like the fire you had when you started your journey as a kid," said McGrath, the two-time Grammy-winning producer and musician who founded the group, reacting to the news. "I felt rewarded and proud."

The group will announce the deal to their fans tonight during a live show at the Universal Bar & Grill, 4093 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, starting at 9:30 p.m.

All five members of The McGrath Project were ecstatic about the record deal, which has become a rarity in the current music industry.

"I knew we were an extremely tight and very talented ensemble and had cutting-edge material," Minnerly said. "It's nice to be recognized and rewarded for just that."

For its debut Brooklyn West album, the band will return to a loud rock ‘n' roll sound, raw and less produced than its first two independently released albums.

"We've gone back and revisited music from before most of us were born and introduced it to the current sound," Ann-Marita said. "I think the two of them are getting along nicely."

In the last two years, the band has played in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and New Orleans, either as part of The International Pop Overthrow festival, at benefit concerts and as an opening act for The Manny Charlton Band.

The group's tight live performances were part of what attracted Universal to offer a contract. "Touring has made us tighter and a better unit," Fullove said.

"I have known Gary, Ann and Dean for a few years now and have played off and on with them, and Matt is as solid as they come as drummers go, so I'm looking forward to everything," Roberts said.

The band's eponymous debut album received critical praise around the world after its release in 2009. The second McGrath Project album, "Love is a 4-Letter Word," hit gold status in the U.K. in August 2010. Singles from the two-volume album scored airplay across the United States and Canada.

For more information, visit the band's website at
- The Signal, Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita Valley-based rock band The McGrath Project has earned a gold record after its second album, "Love is a 4-Letter Word," hit the 500,000 mark in a combination of downloads, radio requests and spins.

"I didn't believe it," said bandleader/guitarist/songwriter/singer/producer Gary McGrath about his reaction to the news when contacted by CRA, the new British company that monitors electronic downloads, Internet radio for the Rhapsody subscription service, and other e-music outlets, and awards artists whose tracks have generated requests and sales.

"I'll believe it when I'm hanging the record on my wall," he said.

A few days later, the gold record arrived in the mail.

"Now, I'm a believer," McGrath quipped.

The band's second album (following its eponymous 2009 debut), the two-CD "Love is a 4-Letter Word" was released in spring 2010 and scored airplay on more than 100 FM stations across the continental United States and Canada from April-June this year.

The album's first three singles -- the punk-influenced, in-your-face "Your Secret is Out," the country-tinged, slyly humorous female anthem "Piss Me Off" and the rocking "later, baby!" song "C-Ya" -- show a sample of just how many different styles the band incorporates into its sound.

The fourth single, "So Long Farewell," will be featured in the upcoming movie "Hollywood and Wine" starring David Spade.

Along with 26 new originals, the album includes covers of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" and the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker."

"["Love is a 4-Letter Word"] goes off on all the impressions of what people think love is versus the reality," McGrath said. "We don't always understand the difference between love and compassion and infatuation."

McGrath, a two-time Grammy-winning producer who is part musical prodigy and part musical impresario, formed The McGrath Project in 2008, and has forged the group into a tight, explosive unit.

He started his career at age 12 as an award-winning soloist in the Texas Boys' Choir. He soon moved on to appear as a guest guitarist with Bon Jovi and Peter Tork's post-Monkees band Shoe Suede Blues.

McGrath found his passion in producing and soon had 24 albums under his belt, including CDs for the band Nazareth and the Grammy award-winning "The Glory of Gabriellie featuring E. Power Biggs and The Texas Boys' Choir" CD (remastered).

Surprisingly, McGrath, now 32, wasn't the youngest producer to win the coveted award.

"Stevie Wonder beat me by one year, darn it," he said with a smile.

The McGrath Project is set to play the Courtyard by the Marriott in Valencia Saturday, Sept. 25 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Check out the band's website for more dates and information. - The Signal newspaper, Santa Clarita.

When you gather a bunch of multi-talented artists and musicians with tons of rock 'n' roll credits to work on an album of new material, the challenge is often one of focus.

In the case of "The McGrath Project" and the band's eponymous debut album, group founder/leader and Santa Clarita resident Gary McGrath rounded up some all-star bandmates and players, but kept them focused on the set of original songs they recorded in just three days of sessions.

A two-time Grammy-winning producer and veteran singer/guitarist/songwriter/music teacher, McGrath enlisted bassist Tim Bogert (a Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee as a member of Vanilla Fudge who's also played with Cactus, Rick Derringer, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart and Bo Diddley), keyboardist/vocalist Teddy Zig Zag (Guns N' Roses) and drummer Bryan Head (Foreigner) as the core band.

McGrath's seasoned but reinvigorated crew came out of the studio with an album that's both tuneful and loud, and a fresh take on the classic rock sound.

Most of the dozen tracks would fit right in on any classic rock station that's not completely locked into the 1970s and still plays contemporary new music.

A few - "Where You Belong," "Bliss" and "The Chance" - are in fact scoring airplay on Internet radio, particularly on iRadioLA (Indie 104).

"The Chance" also includes a pair of hidden bonus tracks - an acoustic verison of "Tamela" and "XXX Malt Liquor" that's hilarious but unlikely to score much airplay.

If you like classic rock but are burned out on the same old stuff that gets played on the radio, "The McGrath Project" CD will be music to your ears.

For more info, visit

- the signal newspaper

Whether it's for a crowd of 80,000 rabid Bon Jovi fans or five locals singing along to their favorite cover tunes, Grammy-winning Saugus singer-songwriter-guitarist Gary McGrath just loves to play.

"Playing makes the voices in my head shut up," McGrath said. "Whatever's going on, whatever bills are due, when you're playing, nothing matters. It's nirvana. Nothing else exists."

At 30, McGrath already has an impressive rock star resume to his credit. He's opened or played in bands for such artists as Jon Bon Jovi, Penny Gilley, Blues Traveler, and a band he idolized in his youth, The Monkees.

"I had the wool cap and red turtleneck as a kid," McGrath admitted. "When I toured with them, some of my grade-school teachers came to our shows and told the band that while most kids had imaginary friends, I had the Monkees."

An increasingly popular fixture at various Santa Clarita Valley and Southern California live music venues for his modern blues-meets-pop/rock vibe, McGrath and a hand-picked crew of collaborators released their first album, "The McGrath Project," in November 2008, and launched it with a party at the Cat Club in Hollywood.

Supporting members of the project include Vanilla Fudge bass player and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Tim Bogert, Foreigner/Dick Dale drummer Bryan Head and Guns N' Roses keyboardist Teddy Zig Zag.

The McGrath Project's single, "Where You Belong," is currently a No. 1 Internet download on independent and college radio stations such as and

An early start
In addition to performing, McGrath has had a successful career behind the scenes as a producer, winning his first Grammy at age 12 for The Texas Boys Choir and scoring several more nominations over the years. Surprisingly, he wasn't the youngest producer to win the coveted award.

"Stevie Wonder beat me by one year, darn it," McGrath said with a smile.

Music always came naturally to McGrath, who lived in Fort Worth and followed his two older brothers into the Texas Boys Choir, a prestigious, world-class performance organization founded in 1946. After fibbing that he could read music, an 8-year-old McGrath realized he actually could, at least to a degree.

"I followed the dots. If they went up, I figured the notes were higher and when they dipped, it meant lower," he said.

His first season with the Texas Boys Choir included an eight-week tour of Australia, where they performed for the prime minister.

From 1987-1992, until his voice changed in the seventh grade, McGrath traveled the world with the choir, playing for a crowd of 150,000 at the Vatican in Rome, as well as stateside for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton.

The enterprising youngster also realized that the choir was not maximizing its relationship with Columbia Records, which would press 100 or so albums for the organization each year, but wouldn't release them to the public.

"I called Columbia. They thought I was a secretary, since my voice was so high," McGrath said. "I persuaded them to release an album of three years'-worth of our concerts."

The resulting effort, "The Glory of Gabriellie featuring E. Power Biggs and The Texas Boys' Choir," won a Grammy in 1990.

Meanwhile, after an early foray into drumming proved too loud for his parents, McGrath discovered guitar.

He got so good that when his college-age brothers were asked if they knew anyone who could play for various garage bands, McGrath would get the call. At 14, he was playing to crowds of 5,000, opening for such bands as Jefferson Starship, The Lovin' Spoonful and The Turtles.

The Monkees' Peter Tork caught McGrath live and asked him to join his solo effort, Shoe Suede Blues.

McGrath eventually produced Shoe Suede Blues' first album, which led to the Monkees gig.

"Meeting your childhood idols is a 50-50 thing. You wonder if they're going to live up to your ideals," McGrath said. "Mike Nesmith and the rest of the band were very cool guys,".

The big time
In 1998, McGrath was offered the opportunity to play live with Jon Bon Jovi, who was performing as a solo artist at the time. It was a Toys for Tots charity event with a lineup that included Bruce Springsteen, The Foo Fighters, Tom Petty and Van Halen in front of a crowd of 80,000.

McGrath smiled, playing the familiar notes from "Wanted Dead or Alive" on his ever-present guitar as he recalled the story.

"People just went nuts. It was surreal. Jon would stop playing and you'd hear the crowd singing the chorus back, word for word. I had a 100-watt guitar amp jacked up to nine and you could still hear them," he said.

Other dreamlike McGrath memories include an oil-drenched slip-and-slide run with '80s hair-band icons Kip Winger of Winger and Vince Neil of Motley Crue. After a concert in Dallas a few years ago, attended by Kid Rock, Neil set up the game in a Galleria Weston hotel lobby to see who could slide - The Signal

Prepping for their upcoming to promote the release of their latest Sony cd, McGrath did a strip down show, at the Poop Deck sporting a smaller more rock/blues stlye lineup and doing many of the songs off the new cd. The band that has been known for it's pop sound, gave a great example of it's ability to rock! Gary smoked up a mean lick on his guitar.
On bass, Jay is a white boy with soul. He did some great singing on some motown and disco tunes, as well as laying down some very kick ass licks on his 5 string bass. Putting the beat behind this whole wall of sound was Jake on drums. Solid steady and always on time, this guy put out a big sound for a small line up. This premiere of McGrath's latest project made a sultry but energetic show, full of energy and charisma.
On this night they were a real dance band. Both guitarist and bassist sang, and without a female singer, they were less pop and like a real rock band. All three of them displayed a tremendous amount of talent- Gary even used a beer bottle as a slide which the crowd loved.
They covered songs by Robert Palmer and Eddie Cochran. Thay also did the Voilent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun", the Black Crows' "Hard to Handle", the Beatles' "Dear Prudence", Sublime's "What I Got", Aerosmith's "Walk Tis Way", KC and the Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight",John Lee Hooker's "Mustang Sally", Jerry Lee Lewis' "Johnny Be Good", and Mcgrath's own "Where You Belong". He gave his voice a rest with the instrumental "Wipeout" and they finished with "Play that Funky Music" to which they added some tricks to, making it a grand finale.

-Grady Smith,,Editor -

Once your eyes adjusted, the wall of darkness defined itself into massive black oak trees supporting an off-black Saturday night sky. Viewed from a distance, the bright and colorful glow beneath and between those oaks seemed magical - as if you'd stumbled onto the forest elves partying in "The Hobbit."
Except that these elves were rockin' to the sounds of the McGrath Project band and "Sweet home Santa Clarita" echoed through the canyon as the party wound down to its finish. The host, the SCV's head "elf," Mayor Bob Kellar-in-a-cowboy-hat, surely must have invited his neighbors because, attending or not, everyone for miles had to be enjoying the music from the classic rock band on a stage in his backyard.

Of that, in what could be a classic understatement, Kellar said, "I'm very fortunate to have a place that people enjoy."

Well, duh-uh howdy.

The party, co-chaired by Michele Mann and John Dow, was the second annual Evening Under the Oaks fundraiser to benefit the Santa Clarita Symphony. This year the theme was "Old West," but those fortunate enough to be in attendance not only got to support a worthy cause while they enjoyed good barbecue, drink and friends - they experienced what folks used to call a "happening." They were front-row-center at a private concert featuring big-time rockers.

Move over "I was at Woodstock": the brag now is "I was at Oaks, man."

- The-signal Santa Clarita Valley daily news


The McGrath Project's 2010 release: "Love is a 4-Letter Word", Volumes 1 and 2.
McGrath, "Music, Education?"
McGrath "Insomniatic Daydream"
The McGrath Project (self-titled), 2008.

Singles off "Love is a 4-Letter Word": "Your Secret is Out" (reached # 122 on the Billboard Top 200 airplay chart),
"Piss Me Off" and "Damned".
In addition, "So Long, Farewell" to be featured in feature film "Hollywood and Wine" starring David Spade and Pamela Anderson.

The songs "Where You Belong", "Read Your Mind" and "Road To You" appear on Bannana, Indie 104 Radio and, where they have charted in the top 10.



“A new take on classic rock”, was how the Santa Clarita, California newspaper “The Signal” described The McGrath Project's music with the release of the band's self-titled debut CD in 2009. Off this album, the band had two top ten internet radio hits on and with "The Chance" (#10) and "Where You Belong" (#1).
In 2010, the band released its second album; a two volume set called “Love is a 4-letter Word, Volume 1 & 2”. To promote this, the band has been performing 8-12 shows a month including a regular house gig on Monday nights at Lucy’s 51 in Toluca Lake, California. Past performances and current ones are at such notable Los Angeles establishments as The House of Blues Voodoo Lounge on the Sunset Strip, The Roxy, The Cat Club, The Knitting Factory and Rusty’s Surf Ranch, as well as performances in several cities during The International Pop Overthrow festival, including Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix.
The band's music has been getting airplay on over 100 FM radio stations across the continental United States and Canada, with the release of the first two singles off the double CD, “Love is a 4-Letter Word Volume 1 & 2”. The punk-influenced, in-your-face energy of “Your Secret Is Out” and the country-esque, slyly humorous female anthem “Piss Me Off” show a sample of just how many different styles this band incorporates into their sound. This is not your average band where the members have grown up together and listened to the same records through the years. The McGrath Project is a group of musicians, all respected in their own right, drawing from experiences gathered from living and breathing music, touring the globe, and now coming together to create music that couldn't possibly be categorized or pigeon-holed. Catchy, yet innovative, simple, yet experimental, comic, sinister, heartfelt, perceptive, rock'n'roll, punk, blues, psychedelic, country, will hear it all in one listen to "Love is a 4-Letter Word".
In September 2011, keep an ear out for their new single "Tarantino Girl" from the upcoming album "Boom". It will debut on mainstream radio all across the U.S. on September 6, and be released to iTunes and all major digital download stores the same week.
For further updates please visit the band's official website,