News/Thoughts

The Grassifieds

Jim Grubbs grew up on a small family farm in Alabama where he loved to listen to his dad and brother play guitar. Jim says he actually has a treasured photograph of his dad from taken in 1946, holding a guitar when he was just a young man. “He played that guitar all my life, and all of his life. He just passed away last summer at 92,” Jim said. “So I was always around it. When I was really small, he and my brother would pick guitars, and my dad would sing. They would put me on the spoons. I did learn some rhythm from that,” he laughed.

“When my brother moved away, I sort of inherited a guitar,” Jim said. “My dad taught me, “Wildwood Flower,” and “The Steel Guitar Rag.” From that point on I took over, and learned all I could learn for the next 30 years.”

Over time, family and work life became a priority and music took a back seat; however, a 2006 tonsillectomy gave Jim some extra down time on his hands. Always fascinated by the use of mandolin in certain country groups, Jim picked it up during his recovery. It helped take his mind off the bouts of pain between pain medications. Four weeks later, he was playing efficient enough to invite some music friends over for a jam session.

Brothers Greg and Joel Barnett joined him on guitar and banjo for the first of what became a weekly picking party filled with traditional bluegrass. Six months later, with the addition of a couple of talented friends on bass and vocals, The Grassifieds opened for beach music icons The Embers in a “mountains-to-sea” concert at the Ft. Hamby Amphitheater in Wilkesboro, NC.

Surprisingly, as popular as The Grassifieds became, they never released a CD. Finally, the circumstances of 2020 afforded them the time to record and release their debut CD as a band. What We Are, features a few originals, along with several covers, including a few honoring the classic 50s group know as The Church Brothers.

To find out more, visit www.thegrassifieds.com. Listen to the full interview here.

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