Big Red & the Grinners. Where do you start trying to describe this band? If you’ve seen them, you’ll understand the problem. Maybe the best place to try to explain this phenomenon is from their beginning.
Big Red & the Grinners began as the brainchild of one of the band members, a seasoned player who had tired of a predictable and stale band scene in local bars and clubs. He describes how he could almost write the set lists of the bands he saw at the time after hearing only the sound check.
So, he set about finding some like-minded musicians who were willing to take a risk, be different and most of all- be unpredictable in the choice and style of songs. After putting together a band consisting of vocals, banjo, guitar, accordion, double bass and stand up snare & wah-wah washboard, a set was put together which featured influences ranging from Hayseed Dixie to serious American roots folk music.
One of the unique features of this band, is how they appear to move seamlessly from the likes of an absurd version of Technotronic’s ‘Pump Up the Jam’ to Tony Rice’s bluegrass classic ‘Freeborn Man’, or from Jay Z’s ’99 Problems’ to Kelly Joe Phelps’ masterpiece of folk ‘Window Grin’.
They have this same incredible ability when it comes to gigs and venues. Within the space of a week they can play a bar in Newcastle, then ‘Stormin the Castle’ (the biggest bikers rally in the North East) and finish off the week appearing on BBC TV’s ‘Don’t tell the bride!’, and amazingly not look out of their depth at any of them. In the last year they have played The Cluny twice, The Sage Gateshead three times and are about to make their second appearance at the prestigious venue’s Americana Festival in July.
Here’s a taste of the reaction they get:
- ‘Pure genius!’ (Americana Festival, The Sage Gateshead. Jumpin’ Hot Club)
-"100% Total entertainment" (Veece, Stormin' the Castle (biker’s rally, Organiser)
- ‘These guys stole the show, unforgettable’ (Mouth of the Tyne Festival, Andy Buyers, South Tyneside Council)
We haven’t even began to scratch the surface of this band, talk about the way they dress (which is a contradiction to all that you hear them play), or Big Red himself who hails all the way from the deep South (Shields that is) Louisiana.
So how do you describe these guys? Well – there’s no point trying, you best just go and see them and try and work it out for yourself!
Use this link http://youtu.be/bG_url2-VxU to have a peak of Big Red & the Grinners playing live at The Sage Gateshead or check out their Facebook page. They’re sure to leave you with a Grin on your face!!!!