“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, the brainchild of guitarist, singer and songwriter, Brett Bass. 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 featuring powerful flat-picked guitar, virtuosic bluegrass banjo, shredtastic fiddle, 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 bandleader 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.
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 and was asked several times to fill the rotating guitar position in The Travelin’ McCourys, before they hired Cody Kilby full time. This included the likes of Bryan Sutton, Jeff Autry, Kenny Smith, David Grier and other flat picking greats.
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.
George Wagman – Banjo, Vocals
From York, Pennsylvania George started playing the banjo at age 6. He grew up in a musical family that always encouraged his pickin’ inclinations. He’s developed a mesmerizing banjo style that interweaves complex melodic runs and traditional Scruggs style rolls with ease. Now residing in Johnson City, TN he attends East Tennessee State University, majoring in Bluegrass Studies. Before joining GCM in October of 2017, he has shared the stage with Chris Henry, Peter Rowan, and Adam Steffey.
Nate Leath – Fiddle
Nate Leath has been a dedicated student of music from a young age, winning his first fiddle contest at 11 years old. He is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music and has many recording credits to his name, including several solo albums. He is equally at home across many genres of music and has shared the stage with too many legendary names to list. Here’s a quote from one of his former employers.
“Nate Leath is one of the new bright lights illuminating the contemporary fiddle universe. He tells a story with every note he plays. I look forward to hearing many wonderful things from Nate in the future – he’s a fiddle player who’s got something substantial to say and I for one will be listening.” – David Grisman