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November 16, 2011

Band to Watch: The Grand Nationals

by @thoughtontracks

Here is your introduction to a band that toes the Pennsylvania / New Jersey state line, The Grand Nationals.  They list Springsteen, Dylan, Simon, and Costello as their influences while leaning heavily on a rabid fiddler named Sammy Barnes.

The Grand Nationals is the new project fronted by Adam Honeycutt and Ian Bennett. Honeycutt was the co-writer in the group Like Lions for their entire six-year history (2004-09), while Bennett fronted the alternative rock group We Are Castles (2006-09). The two also worked together co-producing each others respective groups throughout the years.

The group is rounded out by Sammy Barnes on fiddle and Jason Harris (We Are Castles, Like Lions) on bass. It also features Andy Keenan on pedal steel. Their first album(produced by Honeycutt and Bennett) is in its final stages and will be available this fall.

The Grand Nationals released Tennessee Rain on June 16 of this year.  You can buy their album HERE.  This is another noteworthy release from the Alt Country genre that this blog has quickly been covering daily.   The fall brings power to the fiddle and what better ways to close out this post then a Hoosier Spotlight.

Grand Nationals fiddler, Sammy Barnes is a good friend of this blog and a true owner of his musical vision.  While in high school, Barnes wowed crowds with his extraordinary artistic talents.  Whether it was fiddle, guitar, or piano, Barnes was going to impress you.  I am lucky to have been able to follow Barnes pursuit of music as a career closely.  Upon high school graduation, Sam and I both chose DePauw University where he majored in the School of Music showcasing his talents to another student body.  He quickly became a school legend showing up at parties to get down with wannabe musicians like me.

Sam was gracious enough to send us a clip of him getting down on some improv much like he did in college.  Enjoy and best of luck Grand Nationals!

Written by Brett McGrath

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