Press - posted on June 2, 2014 by

“The Murder Chord”: A Bluegrass Song About Metal and Violence

I’m having a hard time figuring out if Grandpa’s Cough Medicine‘s “The Murder Chord,” a bluegrass song about a kid who gets into metal and is subsequently inspired to murder his entire family, is trying to make a serious point, or just tell an entertaining story. The lyrics certainly suggest that the group has a familiarity with metal… but nothing about them really suggests that the group is “in on the joke,” so to speak. Ditto the video, which, other than some overly-dramatic imagery which often mimics that of actual death metal clips, is not particularly humorous. I don’t think the group is trying to pull a PRMC (or aPARRM), buttttt… like I said, it’s not entirely clear.

Regardless, the song is pretty good. Dude sure can play a mean bluegrass solo, that’s for sure.  – Axl Rosenberg

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Press - posted on March 6, 2014 by

Brevard Live Album Review

by John Leach

The Murder ChordIt doesn’t take long to figure out that when Brett Bass, Jon Murphy and Mike Coker named their band Grandpa’s Cough Medicine they weren’t thinking about Robitussin. It’s also a pretty safe bet that they didn’t title this collection of songs The Murder Chord because they were hoping to get their music on a Walt Disney Co. film soundtrack. But, if you’re a whiskey drinkin’, gun totin’, hell raisin’, authority hatin’ redneck that loves his dog more than his family and might just kill for love, y’all just found yourselves some new bonfire ballads right here.

The instrumentation and delivery is traditional acoustic American bluegrass but the themes and lyrics send this material into outlaw territory faster than you can shoot a thief. Never shot a thief? GCM will tell you all about it on track 11 “Bullet For a Thief”, a track with a little bit more of a blues/rock sensibility than most of the disc. This track also gives the low down deep & dirty vocals a chance to really penetrate. A man with a voice like that could put the fear into Johnny Cash…

Track one, ‘Hillbilly Music’ sets the pace and theme for the rest of the disc. Tough lyrics like “Some folks call us crazy/and claim that we do drugs/well that may be but mostly/we get high on Flatt and Scruggs” are tough to misinterpret. Track two “American Dream” has it all – liquor bottles, beers, Florida homegrown, raging banjo and flaming fiddle that careen around each other like stock cars on a dirt track until a massive pile up leads straight to track three ‘Hurtin’.

For all the seriousness of most of the subject matter on the disc the band isn’t afraid to have a little dark humored fun on the title track. It’s a very well written tune about a young man that listens to heavy metal and kills his whole family when he hears “The Murder Chord”.

In the spirit of bluegrass greats like The Osborne Brothers, this record moves really fast. The production is very hot and shimmers with an emphasis on the high end twang of all the instrumentation. For the uninitiated it may be hard to keep up. But, for the alcoholically ambitious, the moonshine motivated, those smokers and tokers dying to discover how far out there bluegrass music can get, listen, learn, and pass this bastard around. Just, please, don’t kill anybody until after you hear track 15, ‘The Saddest Song No One Has Ever Heard’. It might bring it all back to earth before the big bang gets the best of ya. Speed kills man, especially when Grandpa’s Cough Medicine comes to town.

My wife in the next room just hollered at me “Y’know I hate hillbilly music but this stuff is really good. These guys have a lot of talent and the lyrics are very clever.” I wish she’d ‘a said somethin’ earlier – it woulda saved me five paragraphs…

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Press - posted on December 6, 2012 by

Review of live performance at Will’s Pub in Orlando Weekly.

Jacksonville area trio Grandpa’s Cough Medicine just made their Orlando debut (Nov. 29, Will’s Pub). As you may have divined from their moniker, they’re a traditional bluegrass band. Comprised of banjo, acoustic guitar and stand-up bass, this combo is both true blue and amazingly talented. Like any authentic bluegrass act, those instruments aren’t just up there for looks or texture. In technically skilled hands like these, they’re weapons of expression. And there’s nothing like seeing masters at work, especially when they blaze the more storming end of the genre’s spectrum as these guys do. Between the banjoist and guitarist, in particular, were some real acoustic fireworks. They’re without the flash of rock amplification, but there’s at least as much technical dazzle here as most rock or metal shredders. And every time they go on one of their breathless tears, all I wanna do is dust the sheriff in my General Lee. The blend of rigor and ease with which these boys play is simply jaw dropping.

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