Grandpa’s Cough Medicine does not play your grandpa’s bluegrass. They fall squarely into what is being called “outlaw bluegrass” by many folks. With songs about corrupt politicians, executing would-be thieves, heavy metal induced killing sprees, the joys of pickin’ and many a drinkin’ song, GCM veers away from many of the traditional subjects so often heard in bluegrass music. You won’t hear a gospel song, nor a cabin song. You’re much more likely to hear about a jealous lovers misadventures with a chainsaw, or the exploits of a crooked lawman. The sound of flat picked guitar, Scruggs style banjo and thumping upright bass bring an organic yet aggressive backdrop to their two part harmony vocals. Live shows are full throttle affairs, filled with blazing instrumentals and original tunes. Their first CD “Jailbird Blues” was lauded in their hometown of Jacksonville, FL as one of the “Top Ten Local Albums of 2011″, and their second album “The Murder Chord” was released in August of 2012 to high acclaim.
Brett Bass – Guitar, Dobro, Vocals
The founding member of GCM, Brett Bass was inspired to play guitar at age 11 when he heard the guitar solo in Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”. He immersed himself into the world of heavy metal electric guitar playing, practicing for hours a day. It was at age 17 that he was bitten by the acoustic bug, hearing how bluegrass pickers were just as fast and technical as his favorite metal players. He began learning how to sing and play Johnny Cash songs, as well as how to pick bluegrass fiddle tunes. The first songs he ever wrote (Many of which are on “Jailbird Blues”) came out in the country/bluegrass style, so he ran with it. The playing of his favorite bluegrass flat pickers, such as: Doc Watson, Bryan Sutton and Larry Keel became his new guitar inspiration, absorbing their styles through albums and instructional DVDs. Brett’s pickin’ buddies call him “Turbo” and his songwriting reflects the influence of the decidedly darker subject matter found in heavy metal music.
Mike “Banjo Boy” Coker – Banjo
Mike Coker had a revelation at age 11, when he heard banjo legend Earl Scruggs playing the theme to “The Beverly Hillbillies” on TV. He told his father that day, that he wanted to play the banjo. He received his first 5-string and began taking lessons in traditional, Scruggs style banjo. He played in a youth band for several years and fatefully ran into Brett one day at a bluegrass jam. They began jamming, collaborating and writing songs, until he was brought into the band. Mikey’s stellar playing and youth earned him the nickname “Banjo Boy”. Mikey’s presence in the band greatly influenced GCM’s playing, causing them to go faster than ever before.
Jon Murphy – Upright Bass, Vocals
Jon Murphy graduated from the University of Arizona, with a minor in music. His musical experience includes playing cello as a teenager, singing in the Tuscon Opera, playing guitar and bass in several different types of bands and he’s released a solo folk album independently. One day he answered a craigslist ad that said “Outlaw country band seeking members” and after one practice, joined GCM. Originally he played electric bass. As the band started heading more and more towards bluegrass, he bought an upright and taught himself to play it. He has put the time and dedication into being a rock solid bluegrass bassist, singer and songwriter.