Band

“You want hardcore Power Grass that will drop your jaw and get your heart racing? Grandpa’s Cough Medicine delivers- fresh and dark lyrically, these guys are not scared of exploring unconventional subject matter with their truly unique presentation on acoustic instruments. It’s a thrilling musical ride, going in a whole new direction!”
– Larry Keel

“Grandpa’s Cough Medicine is the kind of band that will always put you in a good mood when needed!”
– Hank 3

Blazing tempos, outlaw attitude, foot-stomping intensity, acoustic wizardry. These things all accurately describe Grandpa’s Cough Medicine’s tongue in cheek approach to bluegrass music. Carving out a niche that is all their own, they include humor and dark subject matter in their lyrics, yet are fully capable of letting their musicianship do the talking with instrumental compositions. The band is a nuclear powered freight train lead by powerful flat picked guitar, hard driving bluegrass banjo, shredding mandolin, twin harmony vocals and thumping upright bass. Their first CD “Jailbird Blues” was lauded in their original 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. They were the top-voted music act in 2014’s One Spark festival in Jacksonville, garnering lots of publicity and a check for over $11,500. This money was used to record their third album “180 Proof”, which was released February, 6th 2015 and features guest spots from Jason Carter, Aaron Till, Randy Kohrs, Isaac Corbitt and Hank Williams III. In 2016 the band relocated to Asheville, NC where the lineup was reformed into an undeniably stronger configuration in 2017. Now an unstoppable force, they are wowing crowds everywhere they go.
Guitarist and band leader Brett Bass is the 2015 Rockygrass flat picking champion and has played on stage with The Del McCoury Band, The Travelin’ McCourys, Yonder Mountain String Band, Larry Keel Experience, Leftover Salmon, Jim Lauderdale and Billy Strings.

 


Members

 

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. His songwriting reflects the influence of the decidedly darker subject matter found in heavy metal music. Brett is the 2015 Rockygrass flat pick guitar champion.

 

 

Caleb Hanks – Mandolin, Vocals

Caleb Hanks started playing music from a very young age coming from generations of musicians on both sides of his family, being influenced mainly by his father, banjo player Bucky Hanks. Starting with drums then onto guitar, bass, cello, saxophone, and finally landing on the mandolin in 2008, he eventually met up with with two time national banjo championship winner Charles Wood and went on to form their band Nitrograss in 2010. He has written in a multitude of musical genres and has had original music featured on compilations with Willie Nelson, Yoko Ono and David Crosby while on Warren Haynes’ (Allman Brothers, Government Mule) company Hard Head Management. In Caleb’s off time he has worked as an artist for Tom DeLonge of punk band Blink-182 fame’s company “To The Stars” and he also enjoys writing/recording/programing/mixing his own solo music and writes/illustrates an online sci-fi comic book. He also loves chicken wings.

Calder Baker – 5 String Banjo

Originally from Michigan, now living in Johnson City, TN. Calder started playing the banjo at age 13 and has since graduated from East Tennessee State University, with a degree in bluegrass studies. While at school, he played in the ETSU Pride Band which is a high honor to be chosen from all the available players at the college. He joined GCM in April of 2017.

Christina Nakajima – Upright Bass

Christina’s journey on the upright bass began in January 2017. When the need arose, she stepped up to the plate, bought an upright and began daily intensive lessons with Brett, maintaining a rigorous practice schedule. Within two months she could play all the material and made her debut at Suwannee Spring Reunion festival, wowing audiences with her impeccable timing and driving pulse. She is also a highly skilled chef, with a culinary degree from Johnson and Wales University.