Grace Shultz and Tony White have only been together three years and their sound — a blend of bluegrass, punk, folk and Texas swing — is still evolving.
Shultz’s roots are in bluegrass and Southern gospel.
White comes from a punk rock background. His brother, John Paul White, is a member of the Grammy-winning The Civil Wars.
On “Grassphemy,” the song that bears the name they say defines their music, Shultz and Whtie sing, “It may not play the way it’s supposed to play.” But they add, “We’ll play our song the way we want to play.”
And they wonder, “Just what Bill Monroe would say.”
Monroe, the “father of bluegrass music” who died in 1996, was not a fan of fusing anything with bluegrass. He wanted it to remain a pure sound — the way he heard it.
But for the rest of us, “November,” the couple’s new album on Rock Ridge Music, is definitely worth listening to.
There is, however, very little on the album that sounds like bluegrass. It’s heavy on drums and percussion with lap steel, accordion and a trumpet thrown in for good measure.
But it’s high energy music and they have good voices.
You won’t find any little cabins on the hill or nostalgia for days gone by in these lyrics.
The songs are about evil mastermind kidnappers, electromagnetic bombs, schizophrenia and other things not usually found on bluegrass albums.
But it’s obvious that Shultz and White are having fun.
They’ve played on the sidewalks of Nashville and in tiny halls in their hometown.
But it shouldn’t be long before they’ll be turning up at some of the edgier bluegrass festivals.
Look for the album on Nov. 12.
Can’t find it in stores? Try http://www.cduniverse.com.