The Grascals bring signature bluegrass drive to ‘Drivin’ My Life Away’
June 18, 2020
From their earliest days as a band, The Grascals have never let an album go by without embracing a song or two from outside of the bluegrass box. From Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard to the Monkees, the Beatles and Elvis, they’ve turned each one into their own, emulating legendary bluegrass predecessors all the way back to Bill Monroe while delighting loyal fans and gaining new ones along the way.
For the next single from their latest Mountain Home Music Company project, Straighten The Curves, the sextet stays true both to that history and to the album’s road-friendly title with an inspired take on Eddie Rabbitt’s smash hit from 1980, “Drivin’ My Life Away.” Released just as Urban Cowboy was making its way into theaters, the song climbed to #1 on the country charts, but also reached #5 on Billboard’s Hot 100, making it familiar to millions.
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Sung by the newest member, guitarist Chris Davis, the Grascals’ version keeps the steady, “windshield wiper” tempo and pop-tinged forward motion of the original, but blends it with the band’s signature bluegrass drive — and the combination is enough to make a listener wonder why there wasn’t a five-string banjo on the original.
“This is one of my favorite country songs from the 1980s,” says Davis. “I always wanted to cut it in a bluegrass band because it lends itself well. It’s upbeat, powerful, and tons of fun!”
“Drivin’ My Life Away” follows a string of earlier hits from Straighten The Curves, stretching from the title track back through “Calling Your Name,” “Haggard” — one of the top airplay songs for 2019 — and “Heartbreak Hall Of Fame,” which collectively spent spent some 37 weeks on the Bluegrass Today weekly chart.
About The Grascals | Great musicians will always find a way to make good music, but for great musicians to make great music, they must form a bond – one that, more often than not, goes beyond the purely musical to the personal. For The Grascals, that bond has been forged at the intersection of personal friendships, shared professional resumes and an appreciation for the innovative mingling of bluegrass and country music that has been a hallmark of the Nashville scene for more than forty years.
Their cutting-edge modern bluegrass is delivered with a deep knowledge of, and admiration for, the work of the music’s founding fathers. Timely yet timeless, The Grascals make music that is entirely relevant to the here and now, yet immersed in traditional values of soul and musicianship. It’s a unique sound that has earned three Grammy® nominations and two Entertainer of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, as well as national media attention that seems to perpetually elude acts entrenched in niche genres. Such appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS’ The Talk. All the while, stages that represent the strongest bastions of tradition continually welcome them, as evidenced by the over 150 performances on the Grand Ole Opry. Honors also include performing twice for President George W. Bush and at President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball at the Smithsonian.
As their records prove, The Grascals’ rare musical empathy gives them an unerring ear for just the right touch to illuminate each offering’s deepest spirit – whether they’re digging into one of their original songs or reworking a bluegrass classic or a pop standard. Take for instance, fan favorite, “Last Train to Clarksville.” Non-bluegrass listeners enjoy a new take on a familiar song, while diehard bluegrass audiences who may have never heard the Monkees classic, respond in-kind, not even realizing that the song has been Grascalized.