Grass Cats

Location: R.A. Fountain

From the August 12, 2009 FAD:

The Grass Cats celebrate the recent release of their seventh CD with a concert at Fountain General Store on August 15.

A Good Way to Get the Blues features a mix of original compositions with bluegrass covers from such diverse pop groups as the Derailers, REO Speedwagon, Bob Marley, and Paul Carrick.

Russell Johnson, lead singer and mandolinist, writes most of the band’s original material. From Four Oaks, he is regarded as one of the premier songwriters in bluegrass today.

Released the first week of August, A Good Way to Get the Blues follows last year’s hit CD Home to Carolina, which included two top 20 singles hits. Fountain General Store is the second show at which copies of the new record will be available.

Joining Johnson in the band, which formed in 1997, are fellow originals Tim Woodall of Cary on banjo and Snow Hill’s Chris Hill on fiddle. Steven Martin of Burlington plays guitar and Lloyd Herring of Clinton plays bass.

“They’re the best bluegrass band in the Carolinas,” said Fountain General proprietor Alex Albright. “Always an excellent show, too. Russell’s got that high, lonesome voice that for a lot of folks really defines classic bluegrass. When he turns it on a mean blues by Robert Cray, it’s an amazing effect–almost hard to believe it’s bluegrass, except that’s what it is, straight-ahead.”

The Grass Cats’ August 15 concert begins at 7:30. General admission, $10; reserved seats, $12.

Reserved seats for this show are highly recommended: as of August 12, reservations are into the 6th row of seats. Patrons not reserving seats should arrive early. Doors open at 6 p.m., or as soon thereafter as the owners return from Chris and Linda Malpass’s 3 p.m. wedding in Goldsboro.

Tags: bluegrass gospel, original, tradtional bluegrass