Music » Critics' Choices

The Grascals

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This six-piece band has won almost every bluegrass music award — the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards for best emerging artist, entertainer and song, to name a few — and includes veterans of the Grand Ole Opry in its lineup (which should form a solid pedigree). But the Grascals went a step further in the first year of its existence: It released a critically acclaimed self-titled debut album that caught the attention of country legend Dolly Parton. After tuning in to the band's spitfire sound, Parton invited the Grascals to open for her on her 2004 tour — and to be her backing band. A quick listen to the Grascals' repertoire makes the reason obvious: This group has chops and an instinct for melody. Firmly grounded in the old-time country tradition, the Grascals don't aim for throwback glory but write classic music for modern times.

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