Single Release



“Small Town America”

Mountain Home Music Company




Nashville, Tennessee


It should really be no surprise that it’s been some eight years since mandolinist Danny Roberts, a founding member of bluegrass hitmakers, The Grascals, last went into the studio to record under his own name.  After all, bluegrass is, almost by definition, made by a band, and for Roberts, that has always meant putting the group first.  Still, as the years have gone by, the urge to speak fully with his own musical voice made itself increasingly felt, and the first single from a forthcoming solo album makes it clear that he’s got a lot to say—and not just with his mandolin.  

With long-time colleague Tony Wray playing both guitar and banjo and Grascals bandmate Adam Haynes on fiddle, Roberts takes center stage on “Small Town America,” writing the song himself and recounting its bittersweet memories and observations in a warmly intimate lead vocal, wrapped in harmonies from daughter—and Mountain Home Music Company label mate—Jaelee Roberts and wife Andrea Roberts, whose supportive bass work makes the music even more of a family affair. The result is a gentle, thoughtful—yet eminently singable—meditation built on Roberts’ own experience:
A man’s good word is all he needs down at the corner store
And old men at the courthouse are greeting all the folks they know
Little kids stare through the window of the dime store on the square
And the ice cream at the drugstore it’s the best anywhere
Small town America, a way of life being left behind

“A few years ago,” notes Roberts, “I was driving back to Nashville from East Tennessee and decided to take the backroads instead of interstates. This drive brought me through several small towns, and it seemed that every square—what was once the heart and soul of the town—was now pretty much closed down, with boarded-up windows, vacant buildings, and no people around. As I drove on, it occurred to me that at the edge of every town with a shut-down town square, there was a Walmart store with a full parking lot and bustling with people. That made me start thinking of the small town that I grew up in and how busy the courthouse square was when I was a kid—but after the Walmart moved in, pretty much everything on the square shut down. ‘They say progress has to make a way, but when’s enough enough?’”

For fans with long memories, the new release will not only deliver its lyric message but serve as a welcome reminder of an aspect of Roberts’ musical personality that harkens back to his days with the popular group, New Tradition; for those who have found their way to the music more recently—and especially for those who have admired his supple, supportive mandolin playing with The Grascals—”Small Town America” will be a welcome revelation, and serve notice that there’s a lot more yet to come.  


  • For over 30 years, mandolinist Danny Roberts has been a steady presence in the heart of the bluegrass mainstream—as a founding member of New Tradition, member of Lonesome River Band, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Special Consensus, to later, helping to launch 2x IBMA Entertainer of the Year The Grascals
  • “Small Town America” is his first solo release in nearly a decade and shows Roberts speaking fully with his own musical voice