Graber Gryass is the bluegrass band led by Michael Graber who has sailed a number of musical seas but has had bluegrass in him for a lot of years. He was in heavy metal and punk bands in high school before returning to acoustic guitar at the age of 18. Raised in Memphis there were plenty of other musical threads around – heck, Stax’s Bettye Crutcher lived in the house next door – and Michael Graber did his duty to his city’s heritage.
He played in Bluff City Backsliders, and 611 (who recorded for Shangri-La Records), then there was the 11-piece Professor Elixir’s Southern Troubadours and then Fatback Jubilee which ran to old time and bluegrass music. And then, for family reasons, music had to take a backseat for a decade or so. There were a few bar band gigs but Graber Gryass is his first major endeavour of recent times. It’s a new-grass inspired group, taking directions from the likes of The Dillards, making them an exciting addition to the NWOABB. (which is still New Wave Of American Bluegrass Bands, and yes that is also definitely still a thing).
Michael Graber explains today’s song as being “written for my eldest child, my daughter Jesse, when she was just a girl (she’s a mom now). She always had a strong will. The point of view of the song is from the young man courting her. I knew then that whoever loved her had to be steadfast and passionate. Chord structures here are a bit expansive, inspired the early New Grass Revival or Dillard & Clark, but with a Memphis sensibility.“
‘Wind that Shakes the Cotton‘ comes from the new album ‘Late Bloom‘ a title which Michael Graber has also expanded on “this album really is symbolic of my whole existence. I like to think it’s a message for other people, too. You look at a lot of the great novelists. They don’t publish their first novel until their 40s or 50s. This is the first record of all originals under my name. I just turned 50. It’s a real celebration of flourishing.”