The Grascals Featured In’s 12 Days of Country Cookies (& Treats)

The Grascals head in to the holiday season full of good cheer and, well, pie. “We’re just full of it,” laughs the group co-founder Jamie Johnson. “El’s wife, Catherine Lundy-Eldredge, makes a mean Upside Down Apple Pie, and we’ve been doing some serious taste-testing!” The dish is so delightful that is including the recipe in their 12 Days of Country Cookies (& Treats) feature, and fans can grab the recipe for this down-home dessert here.

Grascalites who want to see more of their favorite band can catch The Grascals’ November 7 performance here on THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON. The audience loved the group’s version of “Louisiana Saturday Night,” and it’s the perfect Christmas Eve entertainment for Bluegrass lovers since December 24 falls on a Saturday this year.



Tickets available for purchase at all Middle Tennessee Daily’s Stores and Lipscomb University’s Box Office

On March 29th, Lipscomb University will welcome General Tommy Franks (Ret.), Charlie Daniels, Wynonna, Montgomery Gentry and The Grascals to Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena for ‘Operation Yellow Ribbon’, an annual event created to raise awareness and funds for Lipscomb University’s Yellow Ribbon Program. The event, “An Inspiring Evening of Stories and Songs,” will feature General Tommy Franks (Ret.) as the keynote speaker and hosting the evening will be popular television and radio personality, Storme Warren.

Tickets for the ‘Operation Yellow Ribbon’ Event are now on sale for $10 and are available for purchase at all Middle Tennessee Daily’s stores, and at the Lipscomb University box office(615.966.7075). Members of the military and their families will be invited as guests of the events’ corporate sponsors. All proceeds from the event benefit Lipscomb University’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which offers eligible Post 9/11 GI Bill veterans and their family members an undergraduate degree tuition-free or a graduate degree tuition-free or at a greatly reduced tuition rate.

The ‘Operation Yellow Ribbon’ Event is sponsored by Daily’s, iostudio, Military System Group, ADS, Spirit Broadband, Tennessee Commerce Bank, and Tennessee National Guard.

Event produced by David Corlew & Associates in conjunction with Lipscomb University.


The Grascals Bring 2 Hot-Selling CDs July 9 For Performace in Dallas, GA

The multiple award-winning, Grammy- nominated group The Grascals will bring their special blend of Bluegrass to The Raccoon Creek Music Park ( 332 Music Park Path, Dallas, GA 30132) on Saturday, July 9. Heralded as a group of genre-bending geniuses with a lightening-hot stage show and raise-the-rafters vocals, The Grascals perform two shows at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. For ticket information click on or call 770-943-2721.

The Grascals are in demand: They joined Hank Williams, Jr. for numerous shows on his Rowdy Friends Tour throughout 2010, and headlined over 150 shows at State Fairs and on the Bluegrass festival circuit as well. The Grascals continue to enjoy extensive media exposure on a variety of outlets, including NPR’s Mountain Stage, RFD-TV, CMT, GAC, The Grand Ole Opry, Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon, FOX & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Country Network (TCN) and both CBS’s Early Show and The Talk.

Already among the most beloved and acclaimed bands on today’s bluegrass scene, The Grascals continue to receive awards for their work. The group brought home three SPBGMA awards in 2011: Instrumental Group of the Year; Mandolin Performer of the Year (Danny Roberts) and Banjo Performer of the Year (Kristin Scott Benson). In 2010, they were named SPBGMA’s Bluegrass Band of the Year. The Grascals have also received the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year award (2005) and Entertainer of the Year award (2006, 2007). Kristin Scott Benson is the three-time winner of the IBMA’s Banjo Player of the Year Award (2008, 2009 & 2010).

The Grascals are currently touring in support of their #1 Billboard Bluegrass Album (holding position for seven weeks; CD also peaked at # 23 on the Billboard Top Country Album Chart), THE GRASCALS & FRIENDS, released January 10, 2011 on their newly-formed label, BluGrascal Records. The 13-track disc features The Grascals in true duet format with close friends, including: Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Dierks Bentley, Joe Nichols, Charlie Daniels, Tom T. Hall, The Oak Ridge Boys and Darryl Worley. THE GRASCALS & FRIENDS – Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin is a special project produced in conjunction with (and sold exclusively in) Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® and online at . The disc’s first single, “I Am Strong,” features the heavenly voice of country icon Dolly Parton; the video, filmed at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, includes footage of actual cancer patients interacting with the group. “It was very moving,” says The Grascals’ Jamie Johnson of the video project. Cracker Barrel is donating a portion of the CD proceeds from to St. Jude.

The Grascals’ newest CD -DANCE TIL YOUR STOCKINGS ARE HOT AND RAVELIN (A Tribute To The Music Of The Andy Griffith Show) was released digitally on March 29 via BluGrascal /Saguaro Road Records in partnership with Time Life and in stores on June 7. The seven-song EP, which celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the iconic TV series. The CD debuted this week at # 5 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Albums Chart.


Grascals show Mayberry some love

While salutes to the 50th anniversary of The Andy Griffith Show continue to roll out, the Grascals are paying tribute with a bluegrass spin on a new CD.

Released this month on Saguaro Road Records/Time Life, Dance ‘Til Your Stockings Are Hot and Ravelin’ revisits songs that were featured on the sitcom with down-home characters and values.

The endearing show, which aired from Oct. 3, 1960, through April 1, 1968, continues in syndication across the country.

“Our band feels there was no better sitcom ever,” said Terry Smith, vocalist and bass player for the Grammy-nominated group. “Any time we can be affiliated with The Andy Griffith Show, we’ll sure jump at the chance.”

All fans of the show, band members even quote dialogue back and forth on the tour bus.

One of the many pearls of wisdom comes from Andy Taylor (Griffith, who turned 85 on June 1): “When a man carries a gun all the time, the respect he thinks he’s getting might really be fear. So I don’t carry a gun because I don’t want the people of Mayberry to fear a gun. I’d rather they respect me.”

The title of the seven-song EP comes from the line that Briscoe Darling (Denver Pyle), patriarch of a musically inclined hillbilly family, said before launching into a tune.

The Darlings played some of the album’s songs on the show, including the gospel classic Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, in the “Mountain Wedding” episode. That was when Barney Fife (Don Knotts) dresses up like Darling’s daughter Charlene to prevent her from getting married to neighbor Ernest T. Bass.

With tunes such as Dooley, Boil Them Cabbage Down and Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer), the album also includes a new song, Boy, Giraffes Are Selfish The title comes from one of Fife’s famous lines in one of the most popular episodes, “Dogs, Dogs, Dogs,” in which Opie (Ron Howard) almost persuades his father to let him keep a stray when a pack of dogs invades the courthouse.

Other tributes to the show’s 50th anniversary include a DVD boxed set, The Andy Griffith Show 50th Anniversary: Best of Mayberry, and assorted collectibles.

The Grascals formed in 2004 when its members, six bluegrass musicians who had been performing about two decades, all found themselves between gigs.

The other members of the band are Terry Eldredge, vocals and guitar; Jamie Johnson, vocals; Danny Roberts, vocals and mandolin; Jeremy Abshire, fiddle; and Kristin Scott Benson, banjo.

“The joke is we formed a band because we were all unemployed, and there is a little truth in that,” Smith said.

Dolly Parton learned they were recording an album and asked to hear what they had so far. About three weeks later, they were part of her band, and the Grascals were opening for her.

“That opened a lot of doors for us,” Smith said.

The Grascals went on to release five albums and win numerous accolades, including two awards as entertainer of the year from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America.

In January, they released The Grascals & Friends in conjunction with Cracker Barrel. A collection of 13 classic country songs with a bluegrass twist such as White Lightning and Folsom Prison Blues, it features guest artists such as Parton, Brad Paisley, Joe Nichols, the Oak Ridge Boys and Tom T. Hall.

“We didn’t over-produce it. We let it breathe its own life, and it has a heart and soul,” Smith said. “We wanted it to be a true duet album instead of being a backup band for these artists.

“I think we pulled it off. It really is like the Grascals and friends, and the friends did a wonderful job.

As for The Andy Griffith Show, Smith not only likes the music but also the meaning.

“The show always had a message. It usually taught a good lesson on top of being entertaining,” he said. “It’s still relevant today because it’s real, from real life. And Andy did not allow one-liners on the show. He wanted the characters to be funny as opposed to the other way around.

“Like bluegrass and country music, the show is right from the heart.”



Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and the Grand Ole Opry Release Four CDs with Recordings by More Than 50 Legendary and Contemporary Superstar Artists

LEBANON, Tenn. (June 20, 2011) — It was more than 50 years in the making and worth the wait for music fans who will be able to hear all kinds of country on the three-CD series Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection plus a contemporary Our Kind of Country CD released today by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® and the Grand Ole Opry®. The Classic Collection includes live performances recorded on the celebrated stage of the Grand Ole Opry spanning six decades from the mid 1950s to the 2000s.
A long list of country stars’ memorable performances at the Opry is captured on the Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection CDs: Duets, Outlaws, and Classics. Our Kind of Country, meanwhile, features studio recordings of some of today’s superstar Opry members’ biggest hits of the past ten years. The CDs are sold separately for $11.99 and are available at all Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Grand Ole Opry retail locations as well as online at and

“The classic collection is truly ‘classic’ in every sense of the word,” said Julie Craig, marketing manager for Cracker Barrel. “It’s as close to an Opry experience as you can get without actually being in the Opry House. Listeners will enjoy high quality sound on every track, songs by historically renowned artists and enduring examples of some truly great performances. And Our Kind Of Country is an incredible showcase of the Opry’s current superstars and more recent additions—a dozen of the Opry’s best available on one CD for the first time.”

Artists on the Our Kind of Country CD are Trace Adkins, Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Diamond Rio, Terri Clark, Montgomery Gentry, and Dierks Bentley. The 12 tracks are studio recordings. Every artist is a Grand Ole Opry member, from McEntire (member since 1985) to Shelton (member since 2010). The artists included have collectively won every major award presented by the Country Music Association, including Entertainer of the Year (Jackson, McEntire and Paisley).

Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection – Duets spotlights live versions of some of country music’s iconic duos (Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton) as well as artists for whom live versions of collaborative efforts are quite rare (Glen Campbell and Steve Wariner, Ricky Skaggs and Emmylou Harris). The Louvin Brothers’ “When I Stop Dreaming” is the only live Opry recording of the brothers known to exist. Other artists on the Duets CD are Johnny Cash and June Carter; George Jones and Tammy Wynette; Jack Greene and Jeannie Seely; Bobby Lord and Patsy Cline; Emmylou Harris and Ricky Skaggs; Loretta Lynn and Ernest Tubb; Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius; and Ronnie Dunn and Rebecca Lynn Howard.

Artists on the Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection – Outlaws CD are Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kris Kristofferson, Bobby Bare, and George Jones. Together, those featured have collected hundreds of Top 40 country hits and innumerable industry awards.

Artists on the Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection – Classics CD include Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Ray Price, Marty Robbins, Jack Greene, and Garth Brooks.

Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection is the latest in Cracker Barrel’s exclusive music program. On May 16, 2011, Cracker Barrel released Teddy Gentry’s Best New Nashville with original music from 12 talented new artists. On May 2, Cracker Barrel released Randy Travis’ self-titled album Randy Travis. In March of this year, Cracker Barrel released Kenny Rogers’ The Love of God, which debuted at #8 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and #2 on the Top Christian Albums chart. In January 2011, Cracker Barrel released The Grascals & Friends – Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, which debuted at #1 on Billboard magazine’s Bluegrass Albums chart and at #26 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. In November of 2010, Cracker Barrel released Smokey Robinson’s Now & Then, which debuted at #19 on Billboard magazine’s R&B chart and was nominated for an NAACP IMAGE AWARD. September saw the release of the self-titled Rodney Atkins, which includes four #1 hits, and also the release of Mandy Barnett’s Winter Wonderland, which offers up all the authentic sounds of holiday traditions. In July, the company released Craig Morgan’s That’s Why-Collector’s Edition, and in May the release of Wynonna’s Love Heals debuted at #7 on the Billboard Magazine Top Country Albums chart. February’s release of Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart, where it spent nine weeks in the top position and 18 weeks overall in one of the three top positions. One of its songs was nominated for a Grammy® award. Over the last few years, Cracker Barrel has released exclusive CDs with Alan Jackson, the Zac Brown Band, George Jones, Montgomery Gentry, Dolly Parton, Bill Gaither, Ricky Skaggs, Aaron Tippin, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Josh Turner, Amy Grant, Kenny Rogers, Sara Evans, and Charlie Daniels.

About Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage…all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplins as well as its made from scratch biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 601 company-owned locations in 42 states. Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. For more information, visit

About the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. Celebrating 85 years of entertainment, the Opry can be heard on 650 WSM-AM, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and The syndicated weekly program,America’s Opry Weekend, airs on country radio stations across America and on the Armed Forces Radio Network. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a Nashville-based hospitality and entertainment company that also owns and operates Gaylord Hotels. For more information, visit or


Danny Roberts of The Grascals: ‘This is a great life’

One of the most celebrated bluegrass groups in the world today, The Grascals have just released a new CD entitled Dance Til Your Stockings Are Hot and Ravelin’: A Tribute to the Music of The Andy Griffith Show. In an interview with, mandolin player Danny Roberts spoke enthusiastically about the new album and the group’s extensive touring schedule, saying, “This is a great life.”

The new project was released last week in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved television show. “It was supposed to come out last Christmas,” Roberts said, “but it didn’t come together in time.” The album has been available as a digital download since March, but June 7 marked the actual physical release, which the musician said is due to the continuing success of the group’s last album The Grascals & Friends: Country Classics With a Bluegrass Spin. That album was released exclusively through Cracker Barrel in January and spent seven weeks at the top spot in the Billboard Bluegrass Album chart.

“I think management, they wanted to hold off and let that cool a little bit,” Roberts stated. “It’s a good problem to have!”

Released through BluGrascal Records/Time Life Records, the new CD features The Grascals’ versions of classics like “Dooley,” “Boil Them Cabbage Down,” “Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer),” “Ol’ Joe Clark,” “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” and “Mayberry’s Finest Theme.” The band also contributed one new track, “Boy, Giraffes Are Selfish,” which was inspired by a line from an episode.

“That was something the Mayberry people wanted us to write a song about, something that had a reference to an episode,” Roberts said. “Andy [Griffith] heard it and really loved it. A lot of people might not realize it, but he still has to approve everything. He’s not just sitting around retired. All of it still goes through him.”

The project is a perfect fit for the Grascals, since the band members are all big fans of the show. “Especially Terry Eldredge. We all watch it on the bus, but he’s seen every episode I don’t know how many times,” Roberts said. “Sometimes we play stump the band with Mayberry trivia, and it’s really hard to get one past him.”

The Grascals put in quite a bit of touring every year, and while he enjoys performing, Roberts admitted that it can be difficult to be separated from his wife Andrea and daughter Jaelee for extended periods. “That’s the hard part,” he acknowledged. “Especially when you go over to Europe for two weeks. It’s been even harder with my daughter growing up, but that’s how it’s always been. They understand that’s what I do, and they stay busy while I’m gone. My daughter dances and she plays music, too, so they have a lot going on.

“It’s gotten better with Skype,” he added. “Now you can keep in contact and actually see each other, and boy, that makes a big difference. To be able to see each other when you’re talking . . . it’s just important that you check in every day and keep connected with home. My daughter just got an iPod with Face Time, and my old iPhone doesn’t have it, so I guess I’m gonna have to get one of those now.”

Asked if he would encourage his daughter to follow in his footsteps and pursue a musical career of her own, Roberts did not hesitate. “Absolutely,” he said. “This is a great life. I always tell her, as long as she keeps up her studies, she can keep playing.

“I’ve done a lot of things for a living, like hanging drywall,” he said with a chuckle. “Going out and traveling the world, playing music for people that love it, it’s a real blessing.” Fans can preview Dance ‘Til Your Stocking Are Hot and Ravelin’ at iTunes.



Dance Til Your Stockings Are Hot and Ravelin’
A Tribute To The Music of The Andy Griffith Show
In Stores June 7

Nashville, TN (June 7, 2011) — The Grascals pay homage to one of the most beloved and enduring shows in television history with Dance Til Your Stockings Are Hot and Ravelin’: A Tribute The The Music of The Andy Griffith Show). In stores June 7th on BluGrascal Records/Time Life Records, Dance finds the Grammy-nominated band rendering tracks like “Boil Them Cabbage Down,” Ol’ Joe Clark,” and the irrepressible “Mayberry’s Finest Theme.” The group was so caught up in the spirit of the show that they recorded a brand new, original song, “Boy, Giraffes Are Selfish,” based on a favorite line from one of the episodes.

The music featured on The Andy Griffith Show held a mirror to the folksy, fun stories and characters of the iconic series. Thoughtful, sincere and with a dash of humor, their message always rooted itself in doing the right thing and upholding Mayberry’s small-town values. “The Andy Griffith Show had a moral lesson that every human being should live by,” vocalist / guitarist Terry Eldredge comments, “It’s an honor and privilege to be associated with the best TV show ever made. It was – and still is – awesome family entertainment.”

Injecting a new energy into a classic American sound, The Grascals have quickly become one of bluegrass and country music’s rising stars. Since their debut album in 2004, The Grascals have been nominated for two Grammy Awards, received the SPBGMA’s 2011 Instrumental Group of the Year, SPBGMA’s2010 Bluegrass Band of the Year, SPBGMA’s 2009 Album of the Year and IBMA’s (2007, 2006) Entertainer of the Year.


Summertime funshine & the June buzz!

Hey everybody – welcome to summertime! It’s Kristin again, for another installment of the latest and greatest updates from Grascals-land.

First, we wanted to wish Andy Griffith a happy birthday! You may have seen our video tweet Tuesday – but if not, you can watch the video we recorded here:

May ended up being quite the busy month for us! We travelled to East TN and up to the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg, got rained out of Louisville, and had another opportunity to play our favorite stage – The Grand Ole
Opry (104th appearance!!)

The end of May marked our yearly return to Branson, MO for Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass and BBQ festival, and even with the sub-prime weather, the turnout was great! I was especially thankful that my husband and the rest of IIIrd Tyme Out stayed safe, since they were in Branson, during the deadly storms in nearby Joplin. Our prayers are with those folks.

Next, it was back east to Big Stone Gap, VA, where we were joined by Danny’s daughter, Jaelee, and Jamie’s wife, Susanne Mumpower-Johnson (aka Iodine). Both sang a song and the audience was quite receptive. Jaelee is 10 years old and each time I hear her sing or play, she’s like a different musician! Kids are amazing. And Susanne’s new record is getting magnificent reviews from the likes of Music Row’s Robert K Oermann! We are very proud of our extended Grascals families. Smitty’s clan went to Branson with us…Granddaughter
Allyson may be the most agreeable baby ever.

We ended the month celebrating Memorial Day with Sirius XM – Smitty and El stopped in for a chat with Kyle Cantrell. Sorry for the company, Kyle.

Finally, we continued to remember our servicemen and women with the fine folks in Indianola, Iowa (just south of Des Moines). We played a warm set on the courthouse lawn and recorded the video greeting (above) to Andy Griffith! Did you know it’s the 50th Anniversary of The Andy Griffith Show this year?

We’ve got some of our own birthdays coming up this month! Smitty and Jamie share the same (June 15th) and we’ll celebrate with all of you coming to see us in Bean Blossom, Indiana… then we’re off to Nova Scotia for a few days. We have tons of shows in Canada this year and look forward to meeting new friends.
The Grascals want to send a special shout-out to Dr. Tom Bibey, the popular bluegrass blogger and author of The Mandolin Case. He is battling a serious illness, but like his family, we are full of hope, in Christ, for a full recovery!

Don’t forget Father’s Day June 19th – we certainly have plans to take care of all our dads. For mine, Fred Scott – thanks for buying me banjos, banjo lessons, taking me to festivals, being my biggest fan, and mainly, for being such a fine Papa to Hogan.

– Kristin Scott Benson


Reviews of bluegrass music releases

THE GRASCALS, “Dance Til Your Stockings Are Hot and Ravelin’,” BluGrascal Records. Seven tracks.

Boy, fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” are having a bonanza year for musical memories of the television series which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Last fall, Rodney Dillard, who played one of the Darlin’ Boys on the show, released “I Wish Life Was Like Mayberry” on Rural Rhythm Records and now, The Grascals, one of the hottest groups in bluegrass, is releasing “Dance Til Your Stockings Are Hot and Ravelin'” on their own BluGrascal label.

For fans of TAGS, the only complaint is that it’s only seven songs. Five of the songs are from the series – “Dooley,” “Boil Them Cabbage Down,” “Stay All Night (Stay A Little Longer),” “Ol’ Joe Clark” and “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms. “One, “Mayberry’s Finest Theme,” is a bouncy tune that’s really a jingle for a line of muffin and baking mixes and the seventh is a new song, “Boy, Giraffes Are Selfish,” which is based on a line from one of the old shows.

The Grascals say they are “huge fans of the show. We’re borderline experts. We even have trivia contests with our audiences on the road. “Even if you’re not a fan of the television series, this is still good bluegrass.


Forest Fest activities set for Saturday

Bluegrass music, food, crafters, vendors and youth activities will be featured at the Jefferson Memorial Forest’s eighth annual Forest Fest on Saturday.

The entertainment and activities are free, but parking is $5 per carload. “I’m pleased the community has supported a event like Forest Fest for eight years,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring the family out for some top-notch bluegrass music and a lot of fun.”Four bands will, beginning at 11 a.m. in the forest’s Horine Section. Relic, High Rollers and Bluegrass 101 will serve as opening acts for The Grascals, a bluegrass group. Each act will play twice on the main stage during the day.

Members of the Louisville Metro Council help finance the festival. Other sponsors include Dairy Queen, the Fairdale Pic Pac and Fresh Market, Fairdale-McDaniel Funeral Home, The Café, Furniture Liquidators and ISA Recycling.