THE GRASCALS, “The Famous Lefty Flynn’s,” Rounder. 12 tracks.

The Grascals burst on the bluegrass scene in 2005 with a self-titled album featuring Dolly Parton on a grassed-up version of Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas.”
It made a splash, earning the band “emerging artist of the year” honors from the International Bluegrass Music Association and a Grammy nomination.

The Grascals went on to win entertainer of the year honors from the IBMA in both 2006 and 2007. And they picked up another Grammy nomination for 2006’s “Long List of Heartaches.”

A resume like that leaves a band room to coast for a few years.

But The Grascals are still taking chances, trying new things while sticking to the sound that brought them fans and honors.

Fiddler Jeremy Abshire joined the band right after the 2008 album “Keep On Walkin’ ” was recorded. And Kristin Scott Benson, IBMA’s 2008 and 2009 banjo player of the year, came aboard soon after Abshire.

Vocally, the band boasts three lead singers — Terry Eldredge, Jamie Johnson and Terry Smith — which opens the door for some great trio singing on songs like The Monkees’ “Last Train To Clarksville.”
Hank Williams Jr. joins The Grascals on “I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome, “ a song written by his father and Bill Monroe. They manage to create a blend of honky tonk and bluegrass.

The Grascals, by the way, are part of Williams’ “Rowdy Friends” tour this spring.

There are a couple of Osborne Brothers’ songs on the album — “Son of a Sawmill Man” and “Up This Hill and Down.” Eldredge, a former member of the Osborne’s band, sounds remarkably like Bobby Osborne on “Sawmill Man.”

The title cut is a story song by Johnson and Morry Trent about a tavern named for a bank robber killed in a prison break. His partner finds the dead man’s money and builds a bar in his honor.

“Lefty Flynn’s” is a bluegrass album with a country edge. It features steel guitars on three tracks, drums, a mandola and a viola — instruments not typically found on bluegrass albums.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.grascals.com.

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